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Katie Couric is leaving ABC News and she is reportedly looking toward a new role with Yahoo.

“Katie is an incredible journalist and this was an opportunity that she couldn’t pass up,” said an ABC executive with knowledge of the situation.

“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.”

It has been widely speculated that Katie Couric might one day reunite with her former Today executive producer Jeff Zucker at CNN. Jeff Zucker took over leadership of CNN in January.

Katie Couric joined ABC News in June 2011 as part of a multi-year deal

Katie Couric joined ABC News in June 2011 as part of a multi-year deal

Katie Couric joined ABC News in June 2011 as part of a multi-year deal that also included her hosting the talk show, which is now suffering in the ratings. Jeff Zucker initially executive produced the show, but left to head CNN.

The exit from ABC News will be the second time Katie Couric has parted ways with the network.

Katie Couric started her career there as a desk assistant in 1979.

As part of ABC News, Katie Couric anchored specials, conducted interviews, hosted on Good Morning America and took part in special events coverage.

Between her stints on Today and joining ABC News, she spent five years anchoring The CBS Evening News.


B29, a juror in the trial of George Zimmerman, who killed unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin, has come forward to say he “got away with murder”.

But the 36-year-old, named as Maddy in an ABC News’ Good Morning America interview, said they could not find him guilty based on the law.

The only non-white member of the six-woman jury, Maddy suggested the trial had been little more than a sham.

Florida neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was cleared after shooting dead 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012.

There were nationwide protests following his acquittal of murder and manslaughter charges earlier this month. George Zimmerman claimed self-defense.

Maddy, a nursing assistant and a mother of eight who had recently moved from Illinois to Florida, said she feels she owes an apology to Trayvon Martin’s parents.

Juror B29 has come forward to say George Zimmerman got away with murder

Juror B29 has come forward to say George Zimmerman got away with murder

“I felt like I let a lot of people down, and I’m thinking to myself, <<Did I go the right way? Did I go the wrong way?>>” she told Good Morning America programme.

But she said that based on instructions from the judge, she could not convict George Zimmerman under Florida law.

“That’s where I felt confused, where if a person kills someone, then you get charged for it,” Maddy said.

“But as the law was read to me, if you have no proof that he killed him intentionally, you can’t say he’s guilty.”

Known as Juror B29, she said she initially voted to convict 29-year-old George Zimmerman of second-degree murder, but changed her mind after nine hours of discussing evidence on the second day of deliberations.

“I was the juror that was going to give them the hung jury,” she said.

“I fought to the end.”

Maddy, who is of Puerto Rican background, said the trial was “a publicity stunt”, because she believes Florida laws provided no opportunity to convict. But she said George Zimmerman will still be judged.

“George Zimmerman got away with murder, but you can’t get away from God. And at the end of the day, he’s going to have a lot of questions and answers he has to deal with.”

Earlier this month, another juror – known only as B37 – told broadcaster CNN that she believed George Zimmerman had good intentions, but events “just went terribly wrong”.

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Barbara Walters has announced she will retire in 2014.

The ABC network said Barbara Walters, 83, has confirmed the plans on Monday’s edition of The View, the all-female daytime talk show she created in 1997.

Since her career began in 1961, Barbara Walters has interviewed Michael Jackson, Cuba’s Fidel Castro and every US president and first lady since Richard Nixon.

Barbara Walters was the first woman to anchor a daily network television news show in 1976.

“I am very happy with my decision and look forward to a wonderful and special year ahead both on The View and with ABC News,” Barbara Walters said in a statement.

“I created The View and am delighted it will last beyond my leaving it.

“I do not want to appear on another program or climb another mountain. I want instead to sit on a sunny field and admire the very gifted women – and, OK, some men, too – who will be taking my place.”

Barbara Walters has announced she will retire in 2014

Barbara Walters has announced she will retire in 2014

Barbara Walters’ career in TV journalism began at NBC’s morning news and entertainment programme, The Today Show, which she co-hosted for 15 years before moving to rival network ABC to co-host the Evening News, a first for a female journalist.

ABC said in March Barbara Walters planned to retire in May 2014 after more than five decades as a prominent figure on US television.

On Sunday, ABC News president Ben Sherwood said: “There is only one Barbara Walters.”

“We look forward to making her final year on television as remarkable, path-breaking and news-making as Barbara herself,” he added.

Barbara Walters suffered periods of ill health over the past three years, including open heart surgery in 2010.

In January 2013, Barbara Walters suffered concussion after a fall, and was then diagnosed with chicken pox, causing her to miss more than a month of work.

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Amanda Knox, who is facing a retrial over the killing of Briton Meredith Kercher in Italy in 2007, claims she is innocent during an ABC News interview to be aired later on Tuesday.

Amanda Knox, 25, says claims that she is a “she-devil” and “heartless manipulator” are all wrong.

“I’d like to be reconsidered as a person,” she says.

Last month, an Italian court overturned her acquittal and ordered a retrial.

Her former Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 29, will also face a new trial.

Meredith Kercher, 21, was found stabbed to death in the flat she shared with Amanda Knox in Perugia in November 2007.

ABC News interview coincides with the release of Amanda Knox's autobiography Waiting to Be Heard

ABC News interview coincides with the release of Amanda Knox’s autobiography Waiting to Be Heard

Prosecutors believe she died in a brutal sex game that went wrong.

Another man – Rudy Guede from Ivory Coast – was convicted in a separate trial and sentenced to 16 years for the killing.

The case has drawn intense media interest in Italy, the UK and the US, and put the Italian police and justice system under great scrutiny.

“I was in the courtroom [in Italy] when they were calling me <<devil>>,” Amanda Knox says in the ABC interview.

“It’s one thing to be called certain things in the media and then it’s another thing to be sitting in a courtroom, fighting for your life, while people are calling you a devil.

“For all intents and purposes, I was a murderer – whether I was or not. And I had to live with the idea that that would be my life.”

She adds that what happened to her “was surreal but it could’ve happened to anyone”.

The interview is timed to coincide with the release of Amanda Knox’s autobiography (Waiting to Be Heard), for which she was reportedly paid more than $4 million.

In the book, Amanda Knox maintains that on the night of Meredith Kercher’s death she was at Raffaele Sollecito’s flat smoking marijuana and watching a movie.

The Italian courts cannot compel her to return for the retrial but they could request her extradition – at which point it would be up to the US authorities to determine Amanda Knox’s fate.

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Bruce Smith, who was laid off by a US beef processing company, has sued celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, food blogger Bettina Siegel and ABC News, saying their use of the term “pink slime” helped him lose his job.

Bruce Smith, 58, was one of about 750 people fired by Beef Products Inc, maker of lean finely textured beef.

He is seeking $70,000 in damages, saying the company and workers were “maligned” by the “unfair” phrase.

The firm closed three plants and fired workers at its South Dakota office.

A social media campaign against use of the beef led to heightened public concerns over its health and safety.

Federal regulators said the beef ingredient met food safety standards, but critics argued the food was unappetizing and possibly unsafe.

The US Department of Agriculture eventually chose to allow schools to stop serving the product.

Lean finely textured beef is made from beef heated and spun in a centrifuge to separate the meat from the fat, before the final product is treated with a puff of ammonium hydroxide gas to kill any bacteria.

Bruce Smith has sued Jamie Oliver, blogger Bettina Siegel and ABC News, saying their use of the term "pink slime" helped him lose his job

Bruce Smith has sued Jamie Oliver, blogger Bettina Siegel and ABC News, saying their use of the term “pink slime” helped him lose his job

Bruce Smith, formerly senior counsel and director of Environmental, Health and Safety at Beef Products Inc, filed his lawsuit in Dakota County District Court, Nebraska.

The filing names Jamie Oliver, food blogger Bettina Siegel, ABC News, its journalists Diane Sawyer and Jim Avila and 10 other unnamed defendants.

The company “and its employees were unfairly and unnecessarily maligned and accused of producing a food product that did not exist, a product that critics unfairly labeled “pink slime”, Bruce Smith said in a statement.

He also claims that chef Jamie Oliver used his TV show and social media to target his former employer.

“Defendant Oliver proceeded to use his celebrity chef media notoriety to place pressure on American fast food company McDonald’s, and others, to immediately stop using (lean finely textured beef) LFTB ground beef in its retail menu food products,” the lawsuit alleges.

In a blog post, Bettina Siegel – who petitioned the US government to change its food policy – remained unrepentant.

“I’m confident the First Amendment protects the rights of all Americans, including bloggers like myself, against meritless attempts at censorship like this one.

“I will vigorously defend my right, and the rights of all of us, to speak out on matters of public importance.”

Beef Products Inc has also sued ABC News separately for defamation, asking for damages of $1.2 billion.

Neither ABC News nor Jamie Oliver made any comment on Bruce Smith’s lawsuit.


Diane Sawyer’s Election Night performance left some viewers asking if she had begun celebrating Tuesday’s election a bit early.

Co-anchoring ABC News’ coverage, the veteran journalist struck a different manner from her practiced, straight-news-delivering style.

Diane Sawyer spoke more slowly than usual while seeming to prop herself on outstretched arms at the anchor desk she shared with George Stephanopoulos.

“OK,” she said at one point around 10 p.m. EST, “I wanna – can we have our music, because this is another big one here?

“Minnesota, we’re ready to project Minnesota, rrright now. … Well, tonight we know that President Barack has won Minnesota,” she rambled on, stumbling over the president’s name.

Maybe Sawyer was just weary from the recent torrent of news.

In any case, the Twitterverse took quick notice and began cracking wise.

Diane Sawyer's Election Night performance left some viewers asking if she had begun celebrating Tuesday's election a bit early

Diane Sawyer’s Election Night performance left some viewers asking if she had begun celebrating Tuesday’s election a bit early

Her name was soon trending with unflattering posts, while a new Twitter handle, Drunk Diane Sawyer, collected hundreds of followers. An ABC spokesman did not comment.

“A bit tipsy”, ”hammered” or “on pain killers, muscle relaxers, benzos or some combination” were among the jeering explanations.

Another likened it to an episode of HBO’s drama The Newsroom, where Will McAvoy, the fictitious anchorman, had eaten a couple of pot brownies before unexpectedly being summoned to his anchor desk to report a news story.

Some tweeters joked that a more fun-loving Diane Sawyer was a ploy by ABC to boost viewership.

Several Twitter followers said they were drawn to the network by word that Diane Sawyer was behaving, by one description, “a bit wacky”.

“Bad night for Romney,” one tweeter summed up.

“Worse night for Diane Sawyer?”

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