NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- At NBC's "Today," we're winding down the long goodbye to Katie Couric and her 15 years of waking up America. Each morning last week and today, viewers got to hear prominent figures as varied as Colin Powell and child star Dakota Fanning bid Katie farewell via pre-taped videos. This Friday will be her last show before she moves over to anchor the evening news at CBS. The fact that she is moving to a competitor makes some of her well-wishers unsure of how to couch their remarks.
Some, such as her NBC colleague "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert, avoided mentioning where she is going and just ended with a general Hallmark-ish "Best of luck in your new venture" kind of sign off. Conan O'Brien congratulated her for not having to wake up at 4:30 a.m. anymore, but warned her she'll have to come up with a new excuse for never watching his show before giving a generic good luck. Others, such as NBC anchor Brian Williams, addressed it head on. Williams alluded to how Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Dan Rather demonstrated they could be both competitors and friends, telling Katie they would remain friends despite her new job.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright went a bit overboard when she said she knows Katie will do great as the "first female nightly news anchor," ignoring that she will not be the first female to hold such a post but rather the first to hold it alone, without a co-anchor. (ABC's Barbara Walters and CBS's Connie Chung both had evening newscaster roles, and Elizabeth Vargas currently is holding down ABC's evening news solo while fellow anchor Bob Woodruff recovers from an injury suffered in Iraq.) Hillary Clinton came on this morning to remind us that both she and Katie have had to face hairdo scrutiny throughout the years, ending with, "You've taken us to the Olympics and you've taken us to your colon. Not many people can say that."
But several of the well-wishers, such as Julie Andrews, Dennis Quaid, Michelle Kwan and Jon Bon Jovi, pointed to Katie's softer side and gushingly professed their love. And NBC included a clip showcasing some of her sillier moments from Halloween, where we can see Katie dressed as Donald Trump, Mary Poppins and SpongeBob SquarePants -- and, of course, flying over Rockefeller Center like Peter Pan. (All of the video can be viewed at MSNBC.com's "Today" site here.) All of this makes Watercooler wonder: What can they possibly have in store for Friday?