The smile that makes audiences feel she's your sister, your friend.
It's what made Couric successful among morning viewers of the Today Show.
But when her personality was constrained behind the CBS anchor desk, the relationship was uncomfortable.
Now, a new role, a one-hour afternoon talk show named, obviously, Katie.
"This affords me the opportunity to be myself, have fun, be natural, spontaneous and really explore different subjects," Couric said. "We can be serious one day, the next it could be fashion or hair."
Work to create the show has been going on for months. Crews in New York at ABC have built a state of the art studio with furniture customized to Couric's 5'4" frame.
Colors as bright as her smile and room for a studio audience.
Katie may be based in New York and seen around the nation but there definitely is a Chicago connection in director Joe Terry.
Terry was Oprah's director for the last 13 years of her talk show in Chicago. Terry was known as the man who could build emotions: excitement, sadness, surprise, skepticism, even love, by the way he directed and created scenes for the Oprah show.
"My experience, part with Oprah and doing it for a long time, I developed a knack for watching everything," Terry said. "I'm the interpreter. Sometimes the story is in the reaction, not the person talking."
That's why Katie, the show, is not intended to be just about show biz and celebrities.
Yes, there's been a rehearsal show about hair and other fun topics, but serious ones too.
"I don't have all the answers," Couric admitted. "I want to get the information I need to live a better life myself."
Months of building, planning and rehearsals are now over. Katie is set to debut.
Terry did something different from other cast members, he got a Midwest jolt of energy.
"I love Chicago," he said. "And before the show starts, going to get back to town for some R and R."
Here's how our new afternoon lineup will look starting Monday:
- You can still see the Chew at noon
- General Hospital moves to 1:00 p.m.
- Inside Edition follows at 2 pm.
- Jeopardy at 2:30 p.m.
- Katie at 3 p.m.
- And ABC7 News at 4 p.m.