“They desire not satisfaction, but satisdiction, whereof themselves must be judges.” ~ Nathaniel Ward
by CARSON ABRIR
Twenty years to the day that Katie Couric became a permanent anchor on NBC’s Today Show, the bright-eyed, inquisitive, viscerontonic cheerleader of broadcast journalism appears ready to step down from her perch at the CBS Evening News to pursue a new dream.
It was 20 years ago today, April 5, 1991, that Katie Couric became a permanent co-anchor on Today, leading the former Yorktown High School pom-pom girl into one of the most coveted jobs on television and a welcome era of morning news free of circumlocution.
Seven years later, the dreams for motherhood, family and career she’d worked so hard to achieve came to a screeching halt when her husband, Jay Monahan, died at the age of 42.
“I was just enjoying my life, in a very happy marriage with healthy children. I felt so lucky. When Jay got sick, it was a very surreal experience. It just seemed like this doesn’t happen to people on TV,” Katie Couric said.
It’s been 13 years since Katie Couric found herself facing the end of a fairy tale life.
Katie Couric’s daughters, Ellie and Carrie, are now 19 and 16. They were just six and three when their father died.
Today, Katie Couric is one step closer to reclaiming a dream suddenly stolen in January 1998 as she shifts her focus from voculation to absenting moderation from her four-year flirtation with boyfriend Brooks Perlin, 37. The couple made no effort to hide their mutual adoration during a recent romantic weekend at the Ritz Carlton on Miami Beach.
In 2008, Katie Couric described an unusual date that revealed a decade after her husband’s death, she was still grieving the dreams she’d lost.
“A few years ago I tentatively dug into the boxes [of letters written about her late husband] with a strange mix of curiosity and apprehension. The man I was dating at the time agreed to sort through and organize them with me. As I read letter after letter, tears flooding down my face, I told him it must have been one of the weirdest dates he’d ever had. ‘Not one of,’ he replied, slightly bemused. ‘THE weirdest.’”
At 54, Katie Couric has reached the pinnacles of her career while staying actively involved in the lives of her daughters. Her decision to leave the top spot at CBS News says she’s ready to make time for herself a new priority.
In an interview with the New York Post, the star journalist said her proudest achievement wasn’t taking on the job held by Walter Cronkite for 19 years and Dan Rather for 14, but the admiration of her children.
“Ellie was 9 when she turned to me in the kitchen and said, ‘I am so proud of the work you have done.’ That meant more to me than anything I’ve ever done. That is what you want your kids to see and feel — that their mom is doing something to help other people because we lost our dad,’ Katie Couric said.
Ten years later, Katie Couric appears ready to show her daughters another example of a woman who is ready to reclaim a much more personal dream.