After months of preparation and promotion, after all the words written about Katie Couric's new job as "CBS Evening News" anchor, she'd like nothing more now than to just sit down and report the news.
That will finally happen on Tuesday, when Couric tells the day's top story from the set in a rebuilt newsroom on Manhattan's West Side.
"It's been very invigorating just to take a step back and talk about approaches and things we could do differently and things we might be able to try," she said. "Obviously, I'm excited to put theory to practice and see what works and what doesn't and just actually be doing the job itself instead of talking about it."
Couric may also have hinted at a new style during a brief appearance Thursday on Bob Schieffer's final broadcast as anchor after a year and a half. Evening newscasts have infrequently featured one-on-one interviews, but Couric briefly chatted with Schieffer on camera while the two sat in director's chairs in front of the new set.
She appeared later that night at a cocktail party at a midtown Manhattan restaurant to honor Schieffer, who will contribute commentary to the newscast and continue as "Face the Nation" host.
"I can't imagine following in the footsteps of a kinder, more gracious person," Couric said.
Couric's decision to leave NBC's "Today" show after 15 years had a remarkable domino effect on the television industry.
NBC waited only a day after Couric publicly announced her exit to pick Meredith Vieira from "The View" to join the "Today" cast. With its own hole to fill, "The View" selected Rosie O'Donnell to take Vieira's place as its moderator.
Fortunes are at stake, depending on how viewers accept these changes. The top-rated "Today" show -- television's most profitable program -- earned $274 million in revenue during the first five months of 2006, a full $100 million more than second-place "Good Morning America," according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.
The numbers aren't as big at night, partly because the evening news shows are only 30 minutes long. But "CBS Evening News" still earned $81 million this year through May, with ratings leader "Nightly News" collecting $88 million, Nielsen said.
Couric is becoming the public face of a news division that has ranked third in the ratings for years and was bruised by the tumultuous exit of Dan Rather.