The way to Katie Couric’s heart is a steaming pile of pork.
On a blind date with private-equity executive John Molner in early 2012, her future husband ordered a soft-shell crab appetizer and pork belly entree. “I thought ‘wow, this guy eats with gusto,” recalls Yahoo’s global news anchor, 60. “That’s my kind of man.” (That night, Couric accidentally ordered a $500 bottle of wine because she was trying to impress her husband-to-be.)
Food, you see, is her thing — she admits she’s “always been slightly neurotic” about it — which may explain why the Yahoo anchor, who reportedly earns $10 million annually, is waiving her fee for “Full Plate with Katie and John,” a five-episode cooking series that debuts Sunday in collaboration with kitchenware retailer Sur La Table, her hubby and chef Joel Gamoran. The show, which streams on the dining goods company’s website, will feature the trio making a healthy gourmet meal. Couric also recently made a documentary called “Fed Up” about the food industry.
That documentary was well-received, but the culinary television nut could be hard to crack. Internet giants Netflix and Amazon have entered the scene, even as viewership numbers for food-related television have plateaued, according to Nielsen data. “It’s increasingly difficult to rise above the noise,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at comScore.
Still there’s money in the game: Scripps Network Interactive which controls the Food Network and Cooking Channel, reported consolidated net income of $146 million in the third quarter of 2016, up 17% from the previous year.
Though Couric has always loved to eat, she hasn’t always loved to cook; her kitchen was once a place for “excess stuff like suitcases,” she says. But now that she has moved into her $12.2 million Upper East Side apartment, complete with a Wolf gas range, and is hosting a new show, things are changing.
And that comes with its challenges. Says Molner: “When there are different views on how much of the ingredients to use or how long to keep a dish in the oven, Katie tends to win … I just clean up the kitchen.” (The two Miele dishwashers in the apartment surely help.)
Of course, Couric has a lot more on her plate than whipping up meals: This week, the former Today Show anchor returned to her old stomping ground to guest-host, do headstands and celebrate Matt Lauer’s 20th anniversary on the talk show.
While Couric says she’d be game to help out in the future, she bats away rumors that either Megyn Kelly, newly signed to NBC, or herself could replace Savannah Guthrie as Lauer’s regular co-host. “Savannah’s done a fantastic job and they’ve found their rhythm,” she says. And going forward, she’ll be on the politics beat: “When [Donald Trump] tweets about North Korea and nuclear weapons, I’ll do an explainer about what can’t be expressed in 140 characters,” she says.
This article was originally published on Marketwatch.