Katie Couric talking about Ashleigh Banfield again! Katie Couric is clarifying her stance after she says words about fellow female journalists in her upcoming memoir Going There were “cherry-picked and twisted” in pre-publication leaks by tabloids.
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Of former colleague Ashleigh Banfield, Couric writes in the book that she “heard through the grapevine that her father was telling anyone who’d listen that she was going to replace me. In that environment, mentorship sometimes felt like self-sabotage.”
In multiple sit-down interviews with PEOPLE, the former Today co-anchor asserts that there is a difference between being protective of her hard-won position and tearing other women down. (Banfield had responded to the leaked passage by wondering whether Couric’s view of her had negatively impacted her career at NBC.) Couric says she never iced Banfield out.
“Absolutely not,” says Couric, 64, in this week’s cover story. “I think if someone was openly saying they were going to replace me, I don’t think I helped them. I never iced her out. I never criticized her. It just didn’t bring out my generous side.”
“The culture at the time and the scarcity of high-profile jobs for women — not to mention the fact that I watched Jane [Pauley] get pushed out [as Today co-anchor in 1989] because of the whims of the men in charge — sometimes made me feel protective of my position,” she continues.
In her book, Couric admits to feeling like she needed to “protect my turf” on the morning news show, where she worked from 1991 through 2006, and says she was aware “someone younger and cuter was always around the corner,” naming Banfield, 53, as an example.
Called “America’s Number ONE Gossip Columnist” by The National Enquirer. Rob ‘Naughty But Nice’ Shuter breaks celebrity news every day on his website NaughtyGossip.com where he delivers all the dish about the stars we love in his naughty but nice signature style. You can also catch him co-hosting and breaking celebrity news on Good Day New York, The Today Show, The Talk, Wendy Williams Show, CNN, Extra and Z100’s ‘Elvis Duran.’ Previously, Rob was the Huffington Post’s only celebrity columnist and the former executive editor of OK! Magazine. Rob has also hosted his own Saturday night talk show on Mark Cuban’s channel and his own daily morning show, ‘The Gossip Table,’ on VH1! Breaking some of the biggest entertainment stories, including Jamie Lynn Spears’s pregnancy news, Britney’s first post-meltdown interview, Eva Longoria’s wedding, and baby exclusives for Jessica Alba, Tori Spelling and Mathew McConaughey’s tots, Rob always knows where to find the best scoop. Before Rob was one of the world’s most successful entertainment reporters, he was a publicist working for Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, P. Diddy, Jessica Simpson and Jon Bon Jovi! Now he is bringing all this experience to his new show on I HEART MEDIA in his unique cheeky way, that is always a pinch and never a punch!