Katie Couric Bails on ABC News for Yahoo!

couricyahoo380Veteran television journalist Katie Couric is ditching ABC News before her contract ends to join Yahoo! as it’s global news anchor.

Couric joined ABC News less than three years ago in a “wide-ranging” $40-million contract that included two seasons of a name-branded daytime talk show, which started in September 2012, and three years with the networks news division.

NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen commented on Twitter than Yahoo! is one of the places journalists go to die.

Marissa Guthrie at The Hollywood reporter broke the details about Couric’s early departure on Friday night. The network didn’t comment on the piece, but an unnamed executive praised her and hinted that the deal she made with Yahoo! wouldn’t prevent Couric from working for ABC News.

ABC News declined comment. But an executive told THR: “Katie is an incredible journalist and this was an opportunity that she couldn’t pass up. Thanks to the powerful association between ABC News and Yahoo we know that Katie will continue to work closely with us and welcome her on our air anytime.”

Kara Swisher at AllThingsD, who was following the story throughout the week remarked Saturday morning that it is rare for a network personality to transition to web-only news. And the prominent exception to that rule is Glenn Beck.

No big TV name in the news arena has successfully jumped to the Web, with the fascinating exception of former Fox cable host Glenn Beck. His variety of independent effort, which he calls a “fusion of entertainment and enlightenment,” is a clear financial and audience hit. That’s largely due to Beck’s rabid fan base that pay a subscription fee for some content.