NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 7:06 PM
Journalist Katie Couric attends the 2015 Yahoo Digital Content NewFronts at Avery Fisher Hall in April.
The next few days will likely decide Katie Couric’s future at Yahoo – and, whether she walks or gets the axe, sources say the outlook is bleak.
The embattled Internet company is holding board meetings Wednesday through Friday to decide whether to sell off the media giant’s web businesses – including its search engine and news sites.
And multiple sources tell us that the veteran broadcaster’s reported $ 10 million salary is a major liability if execs decide to sell, or if Yahoo’s current CEO, Marissa Mayer, is toppled in the aftermath.
The insiders say that Couric’s splashy 2013 hire as “global news anchor” (and her monster paycheck) were a central plank in teetering Mayer’s bid to transform the failing search site into a rival of cable networks like MSNBC and CNN and a rejuvinate it as a prestigious web destination.
But our insiders say that the Silicon Valley investors who are now eyeing the company will see Couric as little more than a money pit.
One source familiar with the company’s inner workings told us that the private equity firms kicking the company’s tires “don’t care” about her Peabody-Award-winning pedigree.
“She does great work, but (potential investors want to know) are they selling (ads) against it and is there a road to profitability? There’s not,” said our source, “Any way you slice it, investors are going to look at (her salary) and say, ‘This isn’t going to be something you’re going to be able to accommodate in the budget.'”
After leaving Google in 2012 to take over at struggling rival Yahoo, Mayer hired big name journalists in an attempt to reposition the site as a destination rather than a search engine.
Yahoo! anchor Katie Couric speaks onstage during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in Washington, DC this summer.
She snapped up Couric as well as bold-face “editors-in-chief” for sections of the site, including former Elle creative director Joe Zee to head up the site’s style vertical and cosmetics mogul Bobbi Brown to be the face of the beauty site.
“That’s (Mayer’s) plan and I don’t know that other people think that plan works or that they would keep it,” said another insider.
However, sources said Zee and Brown were not at risk in the same way as Couric because their salaries and operating costs aren’t as exorbitant as the former “Today” show host.
Meanwhile, a source close to Couric told us, “Today is a typical day for Katie at Yahoo, she had multiple interviews – including taping an exciting upcoming exclusive and speaking with a `Star Wars’ star – followed by live coverage of the tragedy in San Bernardino.
“She is focused on and enjoying her work and is proud of her team’s accomplishments at Yahoo.”
A rep for Yahoo declined to comment.