Broadcast journalist Katie Couric couldn't say no when offered the chance to become the first permanent female solo host of an evening news program on one of the Big Three networks. After 15 years on NBC's top-rated morning program Today, she was eager to break new ground and take the seat once occupied by Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather. Although a handful of women had co-anchored the evening news on a national television network, none had solo anchored as a permanent news anchor until Couric debuted on September 5, 2006. After an initial rise in ratings, Couric slipped to third place; yet in 2008 she and the CBS Evening News were honored with the Edward R. Murrow Award for best newscast. A trailblazer in network television news, Couric won't be the only female anchor for much longer; Diane Sawyer steps into the anchor chair at ABC World News on December 21.