- - Thursday, September 6, 2012

NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw has been discharged from a Charlotte, N.C., hospital and pronounced “in great health” after feeling lightheaded during a TV appearance Thursday morning.

“After medical evaluation and a round of tests, Tom was pronounced in great health and has been discharged,” NBC News President Steve Capus said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Capus expressed gratitude to the Carolinas Medical Center for Mr. Brokaw’s excellent care.

Hours earlier, the network had reported that Mr. Brokaw felt “lightheaded” on the set of the news talk program “Morning Joe,” which originated this week from Charlotte, where the Democratic National Convention is taking place.

“Out of an abundance of caution,” the network said, Mr. Brokaw was taken to the hospital for examination.

At about 10 a.m., Mr. Brokaw offered his own diagnosis with this Twitter post: “All is well Early AM I mistakenly took a half dose of Ambien and made less sense than usual. Made a better comeback than Giants.” Ambien is a brand name for a sleep inducer.

The 72-year-old Mr. Brokaw has been keeping a busy schedule of on-air appearances at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., last week and at the Democratic convention this week.

He has served as special correspondent for NBC News since stepping down as anchor of “NBC Nightly News” in 2004.

Katie Couric stakes claim in daytime talk

“What’s good is: People are interested. What’s bad is: People are too interested, sometimes.”

Katie Couric is grinning as she says this, but she isn’t kidding. And she has a point.

The fact that she’s about to launch a new daytime talk show (premiering in national syndication Monday; check local listings) has escaped almost no one’s notice, and Ms. Couric has done her best to bring her show to everyone’s attention, having thrown herself into a publicity blitz for weeks.

Ms. Couric is in a spotlight arguably as bright as she has ever known, maybe as searing as when she left NBC’s “Today” in 2006 after 15 years of ratings domination to claim the anchor desk of “The CBS Evening News.” During that five-year reign, for the first time, she proved fallible. Nothing she did could reconfigure the job to her particular strengths.

A year ago, she signed on with Disney/ABC, which is syndicating “Katie” and employs her as an ABC News special correspondent. In the latter role, she expects to contribute on an “as-needed basis,” she said. “I may be involved on election night in some capacity, and there may be some specials they want me to do.” She also may fill in for “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, on medical leave.

But “Katie,” she declared, is “my No. 1 priority, and it’s going to take a lot of time, attention and energy.”

With a healthy dose of time, attention and energy, can Ms. Couric transfer her America’s-sweetheart appeal to the daytime-talk world without shortchanging the ideals she espoused at the “CBS Evening News”? Can she satisfy her serious side and her playful side, too?

“A daytime format seemed to be the best fit for my skill set,” said Ms. Couric, 55, relaxing on the couch in her office for an interview. “I like interacting with people. I like conversation. I like spontaneity. There are very few places on TV where you can have all that.

“The notion of a startup was exciting,” she continued. “Having worked at networks with infrastructures and bureaucracies, I feel liberated that I don’t have people on top of me saying, ‘No, you can’t’ or ‘This isn’t the way we’ve always done things.’”

One more plus: This new venture reunites her with Jeff Zucker, in recent years a top executive at NBC Universal but, before that, her executive producer at “Today.”

“That was exciting to me,” she said. “We’re very simpatico. We have very similar tastes. It’s kind of uncanny.”

But what kind of show will their collaborative tastes produce?

“What we’re trying to do is take issues that are in the zeitgeist and affect people’s lives, and dig a little deeper to give people some perspective,” Ms. Couric summed up. Her show will typically air right after taping, “and I want to make it as timely as possible, even though we may be dealing with evergreen issues.”

“There’s always an intelligent way to talk about even light subjects,” she added for good measure.

On Monday’s premiere, guests include new mom Jessica Simpson and Ms. Couric’s pal Sheryl Crow.

On Tuesday, Ms. Couric welcomes Aimee Copeland, the Georgia woman who lost both hands, her left leg and right foot to a rare flesh-eating disease. Wednesday, it’s Jennifer Lopez. And on Thursday, her guests are Brene Brown, author of the upcoming motivational book “Daring Greatly” and popular blogger Jenny Lawson.

“I just hope people will be receptive to the whole spectrum of different kinds of shows that I really want to do,” Ms. Couric said. “I hope that we won’t tackle a superserious subject and find people aren’t interested.

Compiled from Web and wire reports