Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal suggested CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric may leave the network "well before her contract expires in 2011" and as soon as early next year.

Why would CBS ditch their $15-million/year star? Reasons range from overall belt-tightening and disappointed about the program's poor ratings and Couric's apparent inability to bring in those female viewers. CBS issued a statement--"We are very proud of the 'CBS Evening News,' particularly our political coverage, and we have no plans for any changes regarding Katie or the broadcast"-- as did Couric (she's "working hard and having fun") but neither are outright denials there are discussions.

Couric premiered as anchor on September 5, 2006, and there have been signs of discord between Couric and CBS for a while--here's a detailed July 2007 New York feature about Couric, who is remarkably candid. And as recently as last week, per the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz, Couric acknowledged frustration that it's "really hard to show" her signature, freewheeling personality.

CBS is reportedly offering Couric a "syndicated talk show or a full-time role on 60 Minutes," unless she chooses a more lucrative offer. Some speculate she could replace Larry King on CNN.