Katie Couric is writing a memoir, one she is counting on to live up to its title: “Unexpected.”
In an announcement Tuesday, the publisher Little, Brown and Company told The Associated Press that the book was scheduled for spring 2021. Couric plans to share details both “hilarious” and “humiliating” as she looks back on her prize-winning, 40-year career.
She will touch upon everything from the #MeToo movement, which led to the firing of her former “Today” show colleague Matt Lauer, to what her publisher is calling her own “proto-#MeToo brushes with workplace sexism, like the time a high-ranking executive commented on her breast size in front of the top brass during an editorial meeting.” She also will write about the death from colon cancer of her first husband, Jay Monahan, and her own battles with bulimia and lifelong insecurity.
“I’ve been privileged to lead an extraordinary life, one that I never anticipated,” Couric, 62, said in a statement. “I’ve experienced so much, both professionally and personally, but have never really had an opportunity to reveal what was going on behind the scenes. I’m excited to share what it was like being at the center of so many historic events and game-changing stories. I’m also ready to talk about the fascinating and sometimes challenging people with whom I’ve worked, the radical transformation of my industry, and the heartbreaking losses I’ve endured. It feels like now is the right time to look back, reflect, and consider what I’ve learned and how those lessons might help others.”
Couric has known triumph as the long-running co-host of “Today,” and disappointments, such as her brief time with Yahoo and her inability to raise CBS’ ratings above third place after she was hired in 2006 and became the first woman to serve as sole anchor of a major network’s evening news show.
Couric’s book will be a candid look at herself and the “the unapologetic ‘Mad Men’ culture” of the TV industry, according to the publisher. She will reflect on her start at ABC, when her job “included making coffee and fetching ham sandwiches for newsroom honchos like Frank Reynolds and Sam Donaldson.” She will remember the network president at CNN who declared that he “never wanted to see that girl on the air again.” She will recall leaving NBC for CBS, and “the less than warm welcome she received upon her arrival from some of her colleagues.” And she will look back at some of her notable interviews, such as her 2008 conversations with GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, whose awkward responses convinced many that she was not ready for the job.
“Booking such big interviews is a story unto itself, and Couric will recount the often ridiculous behind-the-scenes machinations that went into scoring the many big ‘gets’ throughout her career,” the publisher announced. “Sixty-two years in the making, ‘Unexpected’ will be the inspiring, instructive, entertaining account of someone we all feel we know. And in some ways we do — but, as ‘Unexpected’ will reveal, we don’t even know the half of it.”
Financial terms for her memoir were not disclosed. Couric’s previous books include “The Best Advice I Ever Got” and the children’s story “The Brand New Kid.”