Katie Couric says the abrupt dismissal of Ann Curry from the "Today" show made her feel "terrible" for her former colleague.
"I felt really bad for Ann. I still don't understand why they didn't give her sort of a proper send-off," Couric told us Tuesday morning at the Four Seasons, where she stopped to promote her new talk show, "Katie," which premieres at 3 p.m. Sept. 10 on ABC.
"Ann did some extraordinary work during her time there. It was just not the best chapter in the 'Today' show. It made me sad for the institution," Couric said.
In this 2006 photo: Matt Lauer has to sit back as Katie Couric, left, his departing co-host of the NBC "Today" television program, gets a goodbye kiss from news anchor Ann Curry during Couric's final NBC "Today" televison show. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
These days, Couric is more focused on her new show than her former show, and says the talk show will cover both "serious issues and lighter issues."
For example, Jessica Simpson and Sheryl Crow are slated as guests on the Sept. 10 premiere, and Couric also plans to do a whole show on military suicides.
"July was the deadliest month for our soldiers taking their lives. I think that's an important topic," Couric said, before reassuring, "I'm not gonna go all PBS on you. I'm gonna also be doing topics that are pure fun. There are fun topics you can cover intelligently."
Barbra Streisand, Sofia Vergara, Chelsea Handler and Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James are among guests in her the first few weeks of "Katie."
Couric cited Oprah Winfrey as talk-host inspiration for her.
"But when people say, 'Are you the new Oprah?' I say, 'No, I'm the old Katie,' " she added.