at much bigger bucks in this set of negotiations.
NBC has begun talks to extend the contract of Today show anchor Katie Couric, which would preclude any chance of her jumping to CBS.
NBC president Jeff Zucker said Friday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour that discussions to keep Couric at the network beyond the 18 months left on her contract are under way. And the new deal is likely to keep her on the Today show as well.
Couric has reportedly been at the top of a wish list of replacements for Dan Rather, who steps down as anchor of the CBS Evening News on March 9. But let's emphasize the word "wish." Even though CBS execs made contact with Couric, she is contractually locked up through May 2006.