"It's been quite a journey for me and the idea of coming back to ABC where my whole career began is really quite something and it's very exciting," said Couric, who began her news career at ABC News' Washington bureau as a desk assistant in 1979. "I had to work my way up into the newsroom."
Now Couric will host and produce a syndicated daytime talk show, premiering on the ABC-owned television stations in September 2012. Anne Sweeney, president of Disney/ABC Television Group and co-chair of Disney Media Networks, made the announcement today from the Burbank, Calif. headquarters.
In an interview with ABC News, Couric said the show, which is in still in development, will be topical, fun and cover the important issues of the day.
"Smart conversation, those are the two words that I would like to aspire to, and also fun conversation," Couric said. "We'll be running the gamut from everything from serious stories, like a new cancer drug, or what's going on with the deficit and trying to explain it so people can really understand it, to dealing with kids and technology and what is all this technology doing to our children's brains and ability to socialize, to bullying, to fun, popular culture stories."
"This will be one place where you can go to make sense of a very complicated world and figure out ways that you can feel elevated and also things that you can learn that will improve the quality of your life," she said. "That's a tall order I realize, but we're dreaming big here."
Today's announcement came after months of speculation in the media about Couric's future in television. Even before Couric officially announced she would step down as anchor of the "CBS Evening News," rumors swirled about the popular television personality's next move and recent reports signaled she would land at ABC. The journalist, who is active on Twitter @katiecouric, acknowledged that today in a tweet: "I'm so excited to join the @abc family...finally the worst kept secret is out!!"
Couric will also contribute to ABC News in her new role, anchoring specials, conducting interviews, and participating in special events coverage. Most recently anchor and managing editor of "The CBS Evening News," Couric said she was proud to join a group of established female journalists at ABC News.
"I think that ABC is a place that embraces and nurtures strong women, and I really appreciate that and I'm really excited to be a part of that culture," she said.
Diane Sawyer, host of ABC News' flagship broadcast, "World News," welcomed Couric to the ABC News team.
"Katie has so many unique gifts as a journalist, an interviewer and a broadcaster. She is also a friend and, as she knows, I'm so happy she's joining the team at ABC News," Sawyer said.
"This Week" anchor Christiane Amanpour, who came to ABC News from CNN in July 2010, called Couric's move to ABC an "exciting reunion."
"Katie and I have known each other since we began working together at CNN over 25 years ago. This is a very exciting reunion," she said.
Barbara Walters, host of "The View," the hit ABC talk show which Couric has appeared on, echoed their warm congratulations.
"Katie and I are good friends and have stayed closely in touch through the years," Walters said in a statement. "I am very happy to welcome her to the ABC family and I know she will be a great success."
In an email to ABC News staff, President Ben Sherwood lauded Couric's career as a "versatile journalist, interviewer and storyteller." Sherwood said Couric would prove to be the "ultimate utility player" in the news division.
"I've known Katie for 14 years, and even with all of her success, I'm confident that her best days, biggest scoops and most powerful journalism lie directly ahead," he wrote.
Production of Couric's talk show will be based in New York. Jeff Zucker, Couric's executive producer during her long run as co-anchor of NBC's "Today," will be an executive producer on the yet-to-be named program. The eight ABC-owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh/Durham and Fresno, have already cleared the new show in the 3:00 p.m. time slot.