Ann Curry, who took over hosting duties for the Today Show a year ago, could be replaced in a matter of weeks, according to TMZ. The website is also reporting that former host Meredith Vieira was secretly offered the gig two weeks ago, a position she held at the network for six years. Vieira, who was replaced by Curry last year, is apparently not interested in returning.
Several rumors regarding the reasons why NBC is hellbent on replacing Curry have been making the rounds since the story first broke. The New York Times claims that the network is none too pleased about the ratings slump they’ve experienced since Curry took over hosting duties, which has caused their rival “Good Morning America” to experience a sudden surge in popularity. Sources have also said that NBC is unhappy with Curry’s performance, stating that the veteran journalist may be better suited to a role which emphasizes her strengths.
TMZ, on the other hand, has a slightly different version of this story. According to them, Matt Lauer doesn’t enjoy working with Curry, a point he made painfully clear when he re-signed with the Today Show earlier this year. Thus began NBC’s quest to find a suitable replacement, which, according to the Times, might be third hour host Savannah Guthrie.
If all of this is to be believed, then Curry could be gone by the time the network rolls out its extensive coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics. She’s allegedly hired entertainment lawyer Robert B. Barnett, a well-known figure within the industry, to help her through these negotiations.
The Today Show, which began airing over 60 years ago, is credited as creating the morning show format. Since its inception a number of competitors have sprung up, though none of them have been nearly as successful. However, this spring, Good Morning America managed to trump its rival in the ratings for the first time.