I’ve learned that Disney-ABC Domestic Television is finalizing a deal with Michael Morrison to join Katie Couric‘s freshman talk show Katie as executive producer. I hear the hire will be announced to the staff of the show on Thursday. Morrison will take over showrunner responsibilities from departing executive producer Jeff Zucker, who co-owns the show with Couric. Morrison’s appointment allows continuity as Zucker is slated to leave for his new job as president of CNN Worldwide at the beginning of next month.
In anticipation of Zucker’s exit, Disney-ABC began quietly meeting with potential candidates to succeed Zucker at the helm of the show in October. When Zucker’s appointment at CNN was announced at the end of last month, the search accelerated and was quickly narrowed to several candidates with the goal to have someone in place by the end of the year. On Katie, Morrison joins Zucker’s lieutenants on the show: co-executive producers Michael Bass and Kathy Samuels.
Morrison was most recently executive producer of The Martha Stewart Show for the show’s second and final season on Hallmark Channel. He was previously a programming consultant and exec producer at A&E and helped launch Late Night With Conan O’Brien. After a bumpy ratings start, Katie stabilized and gradually gained ground to widen its margin as the No. 1 new syndicated talk show.