With network news ratings on the whole plummeting, CBS anchor Katie Couric has been left with two options: leave the Tiffany Network, possibly for cable news or continue her current role with a massive pay cut. It’s been nearly five years since she made the jump from NBC, and it’s hard to call her tenure as lead anchor anything but a disaster. In August, CBS News hit an all-time low in the ratings, dropping below five million viewers, well behind her ABC and NBC competition in the same time slot. Just how much the nightly newscasts have been hampered by the Dan Rather fallout and languishing numbers across the board is pure speculation, but at the end of the day, television is a business and business over at CBS News is a mess.

According to The Daily Beast, Couric has recently been spending a lot of time away from the studio on a new web show, and some think this may be here slowly branching out to prepare herself for the end. Her contract, a staggering five year deal paying her fifteen million a year, has proven unprofitable, and while she’ll still command a handsome sum on the open market, experts predict it won’t be anywhere close to that figure.

A year from now, it’s anyone’s guess where Katie Couric will be, but even if she decides to reup through the 2012 elections, it’s unlikely CBS still considers her their long-term solution. Let’s just say it’s been an interesting run and leave it at that.

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