The world is still mourning the death of Jeopardy’s Alex Trebek. The iconic game show host passed away at his Los Angele home on November 8 2020 at the age of 80. He had been battling pancreatic cancer for more than 18 months. It announces that Katie Couric will be one of the first hosts for Jeopardy following the airing of the final episodes starring Trebeck that films before his death. Granted, she won’t be Trebek’s permanent replacement but she will host the show for two weeks.
Katie Is One Of Many To Guest Host The Show
The show has announced its plans to try out different guest hosts on a trial basis before deciding on a more permanent replacement. The first temporary host will be former Jeopardy champion, Ken Jennings. Jennings is the highest-earning game show contestant of all time and holds the record for the longest winning streak ever on the show. Just in case you were wondering, Jenning’s total cash earnings on Jeopardy are over $4.5 million.
The news about Couric dropped just as Trebek appeared on his final episode of Jeopardy on January 8th. Although he was careful to never get too political on the program, Trebek sometimes used his podium to convey powerful humanitarian messages. His parting words for the world were a reminder to take the time to be generous with our family, friends, and loved ones.
He further communicated the pressing need for all of us to open up our hearts to those that are suffering because of COVID-19 – those that are ‘suffering through no fault of their own’. He concluded his short uplifting statement by reminding the viewing audience that we’re trying to build a kinder, gentler world and that if we all pitch in – even just a little bit – then we’ll get there eventually.
Katie Couric fits for the hosting position. There will never be another Alex Trebek, but she certainly has an impressive resume. She anchored NBC’s Today from 1991 to 2006. She then jumped networks to anchor CBS Evening News from 2006 to 2011 at which point she also founded her own media company – Katie Couric Media. From 2011 to 2014, Couric worked for ABC News, but that’s just the CliffsNotes. Keep watching to learn how Katie got to be where she is today.
An Inspiring Success Story
Katherine Anne Couric was born on January 17, 1957, in Arlington, Virginia. She was the youngest child of four. Her father, John, was a retired journalist and public relations exec. Her mother, Elinor, was a homemaker.
Couric attended Yorktown High School where she was a cheerleader. While she’s still in high school she lands an internship at Washington D.C’s WAVA all-news-radio station.
In college Couric was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She also served in multiples positions at UVA’s daily newspaper, The Cavalier Daily. Couric graduated from the University of Virginia in 1979. She received a bachelor’s degree in American studies. After completing college she moves to the District of Columbia to pursue a career as a TV news reporter.
Her first job was as an assistant at ABC where she got the chance to work under the legendary anchor Sam Donaldson. She left that job to go work at the DC bureau of then-newcomer CNN. For the next several years she bounced around to different CNN bureaus across the country as a producer. From time to time she would get an opportunity to get behind the camera as a reporter as well.
That was truly her passion. Sure, she enjoyed being involved in the behind-the-scenes stuff too but to her, that was just her ‘paying her dues’, so-to-speak, before she could climb up the ladder.
She got that chance at upward mobility in 1987 when she returned back to DC where she took a job at the local NBC affiliate station, WRC-TV as a reporter. Her work there earned her an Associated Press award in addition to an Emmy.
In 1989, she was hired on as the number two reporter at the Pentagon for NBC’s DC bureau. That same year, she married her first husband Jay Monahan, an attorney. At NBC she got to cover major world events like the US invasion of Panama, the Persian Gulf War, and the fall of the Soviet Union.
In 1991 she began to fill in for Bryant Gumbel as host of Today and when Deborah Norville went on maternity leave she had the opportunity to fill in as co-host. Eventually to she was hired on to replace Norville who the network had blamed for the shows sliding ratings.
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And make sure you keep watching. Your jaw is going to drop when you find out just how much money Katie Couric has in her bank account. Everyone knows that she’s rich, but few realize just how staggering her estimated net worth really is.
She Was An Instant Hit With Viewers
NBC was right about one thing. No one blinked when Norville was replaced. In fact, Today’s ratings began to swell once Couric joined the team. Viewers loved her pleasant, endearing personality and her
signature brand of hard-hitting journalism.
During her tenure with Today, she got the chance to interview some of the most influential public figures of that time period including Hillary Clinton, Jerry Seinfeld, and Colin Powell. Audiences loved how Gumbel and Couric worked together so cohesively on-camera despite the fact that the two were infamously at odds with each other off-screen.
The show continued to grow in popularity partly because of her. By 1993, Today had overtaken ABC’s Good Morning America in terms of the Nielsen ratings seizing the title once again as the most-viewed morning news program in America.
In 1993, Couric co-hosted a primetime news program called Now with Tom Brokaw. Eventually, the newsmagazine was integrated into the already popular Dateline program. In 1997, Gumbel left Today to pursue other opportunities and Matt Laur stepped in to fill his position.
Couric’s success continued throughout the 90s. In 1998 she signed a contract extension with NBC that netted her a cool $28 million. She was then one of the highest-paid news anchors on TV. She was suddenly in an exclusive club of news elites that included personalities like Dan Rather and Diane Sawyer.
Despite her career and financial successes, 1998 proved to be one of the hardest years in Katie Couric’s life. After battling colon cancer for six-months, Couric’s husband passed away in January. He was only 42.
Couric refused to let his death be in vain. She launched a campaign to raise money for research, testing, and education in the battle again colon cancer. She helped organize a high profile TV campaign to raise awareness for the disease that culminated in her undergoing a colonoscopy live on the air. By the new millennium, her aggressive campaign had managed to raise over $10 million for the cause.
She’s Written Several Books
It’s not surprising that Couric is also a talented author. In 2000, her children’s book The Brand New Kid hit store-shelves to widespread acclaim. For three weeks it was number one on the New York Times children’s picture book bestseller list. In 2004, she published yet another critically acclaimed children’s book called Blue Ribbon Day.
Perhaps her most celebrated book was published in 2011. The Best Advice I Ever Got; Lessons From Extraordinary Lives, details how famous individuals have found success complete with their own personal tidbits of life advice. The book drew upon Couric’s numerous high-profile interviews and managed to dominate the New York Times Bestseller list for several weeks.
On Top Of The World
In 2002 she signed another massive 4-year contract with NBC netting her another $65 million dollars. The agreement let her resume her position as host of the Today show while allowing her to pursue several other opportunists with the network. At that point, she became the highest-paid TV personality in the entire world.
In 2006 she became the sole anchor of CBS Evening News and started contributing to 50 Minutes. When she took the helm of CBS Evening News on September 5th, 2006 she was drew in an audience of nearly 14 million viewers, the highest that the show had seen since 1998. She continued at that post until May of 2011 when she delivered her last CBS Evening News broadcast.
From 2012 to 2014 she hosted her own talk show on ABC called Katie. And in 2014 she was hired on as global news anchor for Yahoo News. She would continue with that position until 2017.
Most recently she served as executive producer for Netflix’s true crime series Unbelievable. Couric is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is one of few television personalities to have served as host for all of the Big Three television networks.
In 2014, Katie married her second husband John Molner, a successful financier and banker from Chicago. Molner is a graduate of Trinity College and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. The couple got married in the Hamptons and have been enjoying marital bliss ever since. Since 2017, the two have starred in an online cooking series called Full Plate with Katie and John which appears on the Sur La Table website.
Couric’s Staggering Net Worth
We already mentioned that Couric is the highest-paid television personality in the world, but to put that into perspective, consider this. Katie’s net worth is estimated at a jaw-dropping $100 million. On average she takes home a yearly salary of about $10 million.
John Molner, her husband, has a net worth of $20 million, making the combined net worth of their family somewhere in the ballpark of $120 million and growing.
I don’t know about you, but we’re all really excited to see how Couric handles hosting Jeopardy. Sure, nobody ever will fill Alex Trebek’s shoes. That’s impossible. He’s irreplaceable, but Couric is sure to honor the position in her own unique way. And plus, if she’s not cut out for the job, it’s only a temporary gig.
We’d love to hear from you! Are you more excited to see Ken Jennings or Katie Couric as host of Jeopardy? Let us know what you think in the comments section before.
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