Disney’s ABC Nears Accord With Couric for Syndicated Show

Walt Disney Co.’s ABC is close to an agreement with Katie Couric for a syndicated talk show, two people with knowledge of the situation said.

The parties may announce an accord as soon as Monday, said the people, who declined to be identified because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

An agreement with Couric would give ABC and its affiliate stations a brand name replacement for Oprah Winfrey, whose syndicated afternoon program ended a 25-year run on May 25. While distributed by CBS Corp., Winfrey’s program was carried by ABC stations covering almost half of the U.S. TV households, according to information provided by the networks.

Zenia Mucha, a spokeswoman for Burbank, California-based Walt Disney Co., didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier today the two sides were finalizing an agreement.

Couric, 54, was anchor of the “CBS Evening News” for five years before stepping down last month. Prior to that she was co-host of the “Today” show on NBC.

Disney fell 68 cents to $39.38 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have gained 5 percent this year.

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