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Katie Couric – A Whole New Game

Katie Couric – A Whole New Game

  • She’s interviewed presidents and reported from war zones, But there’s another side to Katie Couric that’s all about living happy and having a good time. These days, she’s been finding her fun on the pickleball court.
InPickleball Issue 10 - Katie Couric - Katie on the clock - pickleball

Award-winning journalist. Top-rated talk show host. Best-selling author. These are just a few of the accomplishments that have made Katie Couric a household name over the course of her impressive career. 

In fact, it feels like Couric became part of everyone’s family when she began as coanchor of Today on NBC in 1991. She remained in that role for an impressive 15 years before jumping over to CBS to make history as the first solo female anchor of nightly news on one of the three major networks. She kept the country tuned in to the big stories there for five years, then signed on as a special correspondent for ABC News and hosted her own daytime talk show on the same network. 

Civile Apparel Hat, The bubble Sweater.

And then things shifted, and Couric created a whole new world for herself. Recognizing that the way people consume news had drastically changed from the days of regularly scheduled broadcasts, Couric decided to launch Katie Couric Media (KCM) in 2017. “When I left Today in 2006, it was a year before the iPhone came out. Back then, if you wanted to know what was going on, you would listen to NPR, turn on television, or pick up a newspaper,” she says. “It’s so different now. You can look at your phone and know just about anything you need to. I wanted to create a company that meets people where they are.” KCM does just that—it’s a media company that produces television shows, documentaries, a podcast, and a newsletter; and it includes a website covering everything from news to health and wellness—so readers can learn about everything that’s going on in whatever way they prefer to consume information. 

ON HER NEW FAVORITE SPORT: “I WAS INSTANTLY HOOKED,” SAYS COURIC, “AND I WAS FRUSTRATED BECAUSE THE WOMEN I PLAYED WITH WERE REALLY SKILLED. IT GOT MY COMPETITIVE JUICES FLOWING AND I WAS DETERMINED TO GET BETTER.”

Natural Instincts “I’ve always been a pretty good athlete,” says Couric, who translated her
tennis skills to the pickleball court.

Nobis Jacket, Lululemon tank top, Alo Skirt, K-Swiss Sneakers.

Are you getting the sense that Couric likes to keep busy? She does. And while she certainly knows how to work hard, she also likes to play—pickleball. She first discovered the game in 2021. “We go to Los Angeles [from New York] for a couple of months in the winter to get much-needed vitamin D,” she explains. “A friend of mine, Lisa Licht, whom I met while working at Yahoo, invited me to play pickleball with her friends.” Though Couric had never played before, she says she is the type who is always up for a physical challenge—so, she said yes. “I was instantly hooked,” she reveals. “And I was frustrated because the women I played with were really skilled. It got my competitive juices flowing and I was determined to get better.” 

“AS I AGE, I HAVE BECOME EVEN MORE INTERESTED IN HEALTH,” SAYS COURIC. “I’M STRONG AND I’M AN ATHLETE. WHAT I LIKE ABOUT PICKLEBALL IS THAT IT’S A WORKOUT BUT IT CAN ALSO BE VERY SOCIAL.”

ALL IN THe FAMILY  “I like to play with my husband, John—he’s a killer pickleball player.”

 Vuori Dress, Recess pickleball Paddle.

Couric is a big believer in staying healthy and active—it’s one of the things that has drawn
her to the sport. Earlier this year, she shared her breast cancer diagnosis, which has highlighted the importance of that health-first mindset. Her first husband, Jay Monahan, passed away from colorectal cancer in 1998 at the age of 42. As such, Couric has worked tirelessly to bring awareness to cancer prevention and has been an advocate for better health in general. “As I age, I have become even more interested in health,” she says. “I want to stay healthy and feel good—it’s as simple as that.” 

The Bubble Sweater, H&M pants, On Running sneakers.

Fast-forward to more than a year since she played her first pickleball game and Couric says she’s definitely gotten better. “I’m pretty good—not great, but decent,” she says. “I’m strong and I’m a good athlete. What I like about pickleball is that it’s a good workout but it can also be very social.” 

Ever the perfectionist, Couric is quick to admit the parts of her game that still need improvement. “I need to work on placing the ball and my strategy,” she says. 

As for her preferred opponent, Katie has gotten her husband, John Molner, in on the fun. “I like playing with John because he’s really good—truly, he’s a killer pickleball player,” she says. Molner and Couric married in 2014. Along with being a great pickleball partner, Molner happens to be CEO at KCM. And he’s not the only KCM employee that loves a good rally. “I play with my colleague Adriana too,” Couric shares. “We’ve played a lot together and have gotten better together. It’s fun to play with her because we are at a similar skill level. What’s funny about Adriana is she’s terrible at tennis—but great at pickleball.” 

COURIC RELIES ON PILATES TO BUILD STRENGTH. “TO STAY ACTIVE, I DO A LOT OF WALKING, PILATES, AND PICKLEBALL—IT’S A SMART COMBO. I’D LIKE TO FOCUS ON INCORPORATING ANOTHER ACTIVITY THAT REALLY GETS MY HEART RAT

Couric has become so enamored with the game that she reserved four courts so all her loved ones could play during a recent family reunion weekend. “My daughters Carrie and Ellie played, as did my sister—we even had a bunch of little kids playing,” she says. “I had to put my competitiveness to the side, since we had little ones playing. But it was really fun. I think one of the best things about pickleball is that the learning curve isn’t so steep. You can become proficient quickly.” 

Winner’s Mindset When asked if she’s competitive, Katie chuckles and says, “Um, hello!”

The Bubble Sweater.

To ensure she’s able to move the way she wants to on the court, Couric keeps her strength up with a steady Pilates practice. “A few months into the pandemic, I was having a lot of lower-back pain. A friend of mine introduced me to Ashley Patten of Ashley Patten Pilates,” she says. “I started working with Ashley virtually and then eventually started training with her in person. It has really helped my strength. To stay active, I do a lot of walking, Pilates, and pickleball—it’s a smart combo. I’d like to focus on incorporating another activity that really gets my heart rate up. Maybe I’ll do interval training.” 

From picking up pickleball to trying new workouts, fitness is a priority. “I’m 65 and really want to stay in shape,” says Couric.  Couric says she’s very cognizant of taking care of her body and making sure it’s ready before engaging in a rousing game. “I try to be very good about stretching before and after I play pickleball,” she says. “I’m also careful that balls aren’t left on the court and that I don’t overdo it.” 

Couric hopes this care will allow her to play and work on improving her pickleball skills for many years to come. “The sport has really blown up and is everywhere,” she says. “I’m proud that I was an early adopter and am excited to keep playing.” 

Lululemon hat, LUXE pickleball PADDLE.

While she spends time off improving her ground stroke, Couric’s workdays are spent making sure that KCM is putting out the very best in news, lifestyle, and health content. Here, an at-a-glance guide. 

Wake-Up Call

Get a mix of daily news, political analysis, cultural features, and reliable recommendations for optimizing your life—and your shopping cart! During our chat, Couric mentioned a number of stories about pickleball that she’d love to do!

Next Question

Now in its sixth season, Couric’s podcast features in-depth conversations with notable figures spanning the worlds of entertainment, politics, science, and tech. Past episodes have included fascinating (and helpful!) convos about wellness with people like Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Vivek Murthy, along with inspiring chats with Molly Shannon, Jessica Chastain, and more.

Unleashed 

Love pets? So does the team at KCM. So much so that they launched a new digital series all about famous people and their furry best friends. The first episode features Jason Biggs and wife Jenny Mollen—find it at www.katiecouric.com and prepare to laugh. 

Katie’s Shop

Discover tons of product recommendations from purpose-driven brands that bring value to the world and to the daily lives of consumers. For example, the KCM team loves Girlfriend Collective’s activewear—which is made from discarded water bottles and fishing nets!

Behind the scenes peek at our Issue 10 cover photo shoot featuring Katie Couric

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MEI TAO

Video Courtesy of @katiecouric on TikTok

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