The Katie Couric ‘Evening News’ Experiment Ends: Thanks Viewers for ‘Incredible Journey’

Anchor’s final CBS broadcast on Thursday will include interview with Secretary of State

Update, 4:01 p.m.

Couric ended her tenure at "CBS Evening News" with a simple message of gratitute for her viewers.

"And to all of you watching thank you so much for coming along with me on this incredible journey," Couric said, following a five-minute video montage of her highlights at the anchor's desk. "That’s the CBS Evening News for tonight, I’m Katie Couric."

Earlier …

The Katie Couric Experiment at CBS will end Thursday, with her final broadcast as host of the "CBS Evening News" set to air at 6:00 p.m. ET.

For her final show, Couric will sit down on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to discuss President Obama’s speech addressing the Middle East.

But CBS — which tapped Scott Pelley as her replacement — is already looking past Couric.

At the CBS upfront presentation at New York's Carnegie Hall on Wednesday, executives did not mention her name, and the "sizzle reel seemed to feature almost every anchor and correspondent — even CNN anchor and occasional '60 Minutes' contributor Anderson Cooper," but not Couric.

“We have a new energy and a new direction” chairman Jeff Fager told advertisers at the upfront. “[CBS CEO Les Moonves] would like the rest of CBS News to be more like '60 Minutes,' where we took a great old institution, and brought it up to date.”

When CBS hired Couric, that was the idea — initally peppering the broadcast with personal segments and behind-the-scenes footage from the newsroom. But Couric and the network were never able to execute it, pivoting back to a "traditional" newscast, watching helplessly as ratings for the last-place network news show slid.

During the first three months of 2011, “CBS Evening News” registed its lowest-rated first quarter among total viewers and 25-54-year-olds since at least 1992.  Its 6.43 million total viewers and 1.98 million 25-54-year-old viewers fell just slightly compared to the first three quarters of 2010 — but that had been its lowest-rated first quarter ever.

Couric — who became the first female solo nightly news anchor when she took over "Evening News" on September 5, 2006 — announced plans to leave late last month.

"I am looking at a format that will allow me to engage in more multi-dimensional storytelling," she said, hinting that a syndicated talk show deal is in the works.