Ashleigh Banfield has revealed that Katie Couric’s cutting words about their professional rivalry drove her to create a new mentorship program that will kick off with a Gayle King interview.
Speaking to DailyMail.com Tuesday, Banfield said Couric’s admission that she felt jealous of Banfield while both women were at NBC inspired her to create her new NewsNationNow show Rising Tide: The Value in Mentoring Others. It debuts December 7.
The veteran broadcaster, 53, explained: ‘Katie’s comments about me were not the genesis of this idea but the catalyst for me to do something really positive with the knowledge I accrued over the decades in this business.
‘Her comments made me realize it was time to launch this program – something I had wanted to do for a long time.’
Ashleigh Banfield (left) is interviewing CBS This Morning star Gayle King (right) as the first guest on her new show, Rising Tide: The Value in Mentoring Others
Couric’s explosive autobiography, Going There, saw the former Today host write: ‘For a minute there, Ashleigh Banfield was the next big thing. I’d heard through the grapevine her father was telling anyone who would listen that she was going to replace me. In that environment, mentorship sometimes felt like self-sabotage.’
Both women worked at NBC News in the early 2000s, with Banfield hailed for her coverage from Afghanistan during the early days of the so-called war on terror.
Banfield hit back by saying her dad was in a nursing home at the time, and accused Couric of misrepresenting his words.
But she is now adamant that something good has come of Couric’s bridge-burning book, which saw her insult multiple other famous figures.
Banfield explained: ‘It’s unfortunate that women don’t believe there’s any room at the top and they elbow each other out of the way,’ she told DailyMail.com.
‘Women used to think the only way to succeed was at the expense of others, but I never believed that.’
Banfield’s program, which will be organized through Nexstar Media Inc.’s news and entertainment network NewsNation, comes after Katie Couric likened mentorship to career ‘self-sabotage’ in her new memoir Going There
She shared how mentorship has always been something she was passionate about and that she knew the seminars would be beneficial to everyone in the broadcast industry – from beginners to those with well-established careers.
‘I was thrilled at the number of people willing to share their tips, advice, sound judgement,’ she explained. ‘As smart as we are, we all need to step out of ourselves sometimes and go 30,000 feet above to see different perspectives.’
Banfield is interviewing CBS This Morning star Gayle King as the first guest on her new show, Rising Tide: The Value in Mentoring Others.
Banfield’s new show, which aims to mentor young journalists, is a free monthly symposium that brings together top leaders in broadcast television with those who are just getting started in the field.
‘For too long there have been too few platforms that allow the next generation of professionals the opportunity to network with those who have risen to the top,’ Banfield said. ‘Rising Tide IS that opportunity!’
Rising Tide kicks off with its first episode next Tuesday live at 2pm, where King will serve as the first of many guests.
Banfield asked King to be her first seminar guest because she was impressed with professional and personal successes, as well as her ‘generous spirit’.
‘I was blown away by how affirmable she was and how generous she was – how generous her spirit is,’ Banfield told DailyMail.com Tuesday evening.
‘People who give of themselves fully and freely – that’s Gayle King.’
Banfield, who has been wanting to create a mentorship program for awhile now, said she has always been fascinated with the career paths of her colleagues.
‘Hearing the stories of others is helpful for many of us who have been in the business for a long time and value the insights of others,’ she said.
‘Some of the best support I received has come from other women in the business and other men in the business.’
Working in journalism for the last three decades has shown Banfield several sides of the industry, including how women often feel they cannot support each other.
King is a co-host of CBS Mornings, as well as an editor-at-large of Oprah Daily. She also hosts a live, weekly radio show titled ‘Gayle King in the House’ on SiriusXM
Banfield shared how everyone of her show guests have inspired her in some way and that she is fascinated with their career paths, including King – noting she had always been ‘a big fan of her work’.
King is a co-host of CBS Mornings, as well as an editor-at-large of Oprah Daily. She also hosts a live, weekly radio show titled ‘Gayle King in the House’ on SiriusXM.
The journalism veteran has received numerous awards for her extensive work in the field, including three Emmys.
In 2018, King was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame and in 2019 she was selected for the TIME 100, Time Magazine’s annual list of the hundred most influential people in the world.
She is slated to be the first of several guests to appear on Rising Tide.
The mentorship program will provide guidance to illuminate more clearly the professional path for broadcasting newbies and veterans alike through the advice, wisdom and mistakes of industry leaders.
Banfield’s program will be organized through Nexstar Media Inc.’s news and entertainment network NewsNation.
She will work as both a VIP mentor and moderator, interviewing a pantheon of key industry players including DailyMailTV host Thomas Roberts and DailyMail.com columnist Meghan McCain.
Other named participants include Dan Abrams, Mika Brzezinski, Sam Champion, Bob Costas, S.E. Cupp, Savannah Guthrie, Harvey Levin, Lisa Ling, Deborah Norville, Jesse Palmer, Elizabeth Vargas and Steve Wilkos.
More guests will be announced soon.
Banfield (pictured) will work as both a VIP mentor and moderator, interviewing a pantheon of key industry players
Banfield currently hosts her eponymous NewsNation show, Banfield, which airs at 10pm ET on the network.
Her live Rising Tide seminars will be held monthly. Anyone interested in participating can register online to get their own personal invitation to the event.
‘Once upon time gathered in hotel convention rooms, had luncheons and met in meeting rooms – now it’s hard to wrangle something like that,’ Banfield said, explaining that her event would take place virtually.
‘If there’s anything COVID taught us its that we can come together easier and share easier and have a freer access to incredibly remarkable talent.’
Participants will be able to watch the segments live and submit questions.
To find out more about Rising Tide, click here.