Katie Couric returned to the "Today" show on Thursday and told host Matt Lauer that she is still unsure of her future plans.
The 54-year-old journalist admitted that she hasn't ruled out staying at "CBS Evening News" as their anchor or launching her own syndicated talk show in 2012, as was rumored earlier in the month. She denied that she had come to any conclusions on the matter, only saying she was "in the middle of figuring it out."
"I think what might appeal to me is just the creative freedom to pick subjects, dig deep, to have a smart intelligent conversation," Couric told Lauer. "It might be nice for me to show my personality... I think sort of the panoply and the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and dig into those subjects is appealing."
Couric's contract with CBS expires on June 4, but there has been no official departure date set. Rumors have been circulating that Couric might become a more regular correspondent on CBS' "60 Minutes" or would turn to her previous gig at NBC's "Today" show, where Couric was a host from 1991 until 2006. But in November, Couric denied that she was thinking about returning to the "Today" show on "The Wendy Williams Show.
The speculation circling Couric's decision has been intense, as Lauer joked, "as the speculation continues, the longer it goes, the more headlines are in the paper, the more time and space is being taken from important things like Charlie Sheen." Couric admit that this part of the decision-making process has been particularly stressful.
"I don't love this part of it, I also don't want to feel pressure from outside forces to make a decision quickly," Couric admit. "I want to be methodical and smart about it."
In 2006, Couric, became the first woman to anchor a network TV evening newscast by herself when she began her job at the "CBS Evening News." The program has this year ranked third place in the ratings behind ABC and NBC. If Couric leaves her CBS post, it will be one of the shortest for an evening news anchor. CBS' Walter Cronkite, ABC's Peter Jennings and NBC's Tom Brokaw all put in about 20 years anchoring.
When asked if she had any regrets regarding her anchor position at CBS, Couric said she had enjoyed her time there and had given it her best every day.
"I don't have regrets. I love doing the evening news. It's a privilege and honor to be in that position and such a responsibility as well," Couric told Lauer. "I love covering the big stories, going to Haiti and Egypt and having this front row seat and actually going in and witnessing firsthand. You know, I faced a lot of criticism early on... I think I have learned that you have to be true to yourself, focus on your work and not be influenced by outside naysayers or in some cases, supporters. You just have to focus on the job at hand."
Some reports have said that 60 Minutes" correspondent Scott Pelley has agreed to take over her position. He and the network have not commented.
The anchor, who appeared on the FOX musical comedy series "Glee" earlier this year, has also published a book entitled "The Best Advice I Ever Got," which contains essays compiled from Couric's friends, co-workers and celebrities. Couric told Lauer that the impetus for the book came when she delivered a commencement address at Case Western Reserve University last year and "got tired" of talking about herself and wondered what advice her interviewees would offer the graduates.
Watch a clip of Couric's "Today" show appearance below.