Hoda Kotb is apparently one of the frontrunners for the soon-to-be-available hosting gig over at the TODAY show, according to the Daily Mail. Kotb, who is known for consuming copious amount of wine during her fourth-hour segment with Kathie Lee Gifford, was reportedly placed on standby should Ann Curry not show up for work. Word around NBC is that Savannah Guthrie is also being groomed for the position, which is expected to open up within the next few weeks.
For those of you who are late to the proverbial party, here's what's happening: Apparently NBC is none too pleased about the fact that "Good Morning America" has trumped them in the ratings. A lot of fingers within the industry are pointing straight to Ann Curry, who took over the position following Meredith Vieira's departure last year. The network has begun negotiations with Curry, who will most likely be shuffled off to a place at the company where her strengths as a serious journalist can be properly utilized. This, of course, is all speculation.
To make matters worse, Matt Lauer isn't too fond of Curry, either. TMZ reported last week that Lauer demanded a new co-host following his decision to stick with TODAY for a few more years. The tension between the two hosts may explain why the hosts rarely appear together on the program anymore. Despite everything that's happening behind-the-scenes, Curry has remained pleasant and personable on the show, a testament to her professionalism.
Although Linda Stasi at the New York Post seems to think Kotb would be a perfect fit -- she even referred to Kotb as the "female Matt Lauer" -- some feel that she may not be serious enough for the show's opening hour. Since the vast majority of viewers aren't aware of her journalistic background, folks have simply come to associate her with the goofy antics and alcohol-infused shenanigans which comprise the majority of the fourth hour. This may ultimately prevent her from smoothly transitioning into position.
As a fan of Ann Curry, I really do hate to see her leave. Of course, I'll be the first to admit that some of her interviews aren't the most polished I've ever seen, and her awkwardness does, at times, make for some uncomfortable viewing. Still, I've always enjoyed her contributions to the show, and I sincerely hope that NBC can find a place for Curry at TODAY following her replacement. Her presence, I think, would be sorely missed.