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Ann Curry: NBC discussing plan to remove ‘Today’ show host
Question of the Day
It’s still uncertain whether Miss Curry, who has discovered a passion for international reporting in recent years, will remain with “Today,” according to a source with knowledge of the show who spoke on condition of anonymity on Wednesday because the source was not authorized to speak on the matter. The New York Times first reported the discussions about the possible change on Wednesday.
Savannah Guthrie, who co-hosts the show’s third hour, is at the top of the list of Miss Curry’s possible replacements.
Keeping “Today” on top is serious business for NBC. Now four hours long, “Today” is the network’s most profitable show and, with no end in sight for the network’s prolonged prime-time slump, stands with Brian Williams’ “Nightly News” as NBC’s most successful program.
The New York Times reported that Miss Curry had hired Washington lawyer Robert Barnett to represent her in talks with NBC News about her future. Mr. Barnett on Wednesday said he would not comment on Miss Curry, and she did not return an email seeking comment.
Asked a week ago whether “Today” was considering any personnel changes, Mr. Bell deflected the question with a joke, saying there was no truth to the rumor that Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford would leave as hosts of the show’s fourth hour.
Mr. Bell, who also is producing NBC’s Olympics broadcasts, said it would be wrong for “Today” not to undergo some self-examination with the new competition from ABC. But he also noted that ABC was helped this spring because it had a stronger prime-time lineup than NBC and some of those evening viewers stuck around for “Good Morning America.”
“It feels like there’s an evolution that’s to take place now in the (morning), and I think, as has been the case in the past, we’ll be the ones to lead the way,” Mr. Bell said.
Mr. Lauer, during a CNN interview last month, said he took responsibility for his show’s ratings troubles and that was one of the reasons he decided to sign another multimillion-dollar contract.
“The show is not where I want it to be right now,” Mr. Lauer said. “The ratings are not where I want them to be. I want to make it better, and I want to reinvigorate the show in some ways that perhaps we have let up on in the past couple of years.”
Miss Curry was passed over for Miss Vieira in 2006 when NBC executives were replacing Katie Couric on “Today.” After getting the job last year, Miss Curry told the Associated Press that she would not have left the show even if she had been passed over again.
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