NBC News is getting ready to replace Ann Curry as a co-host of the “Today” show, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
The paper wrote that Curry and NBC executives have begun discussing a transition out of her hosting role. The negotiations are expected to be done by the network’s coverage of the Summer Olympics in July.
“That way, ‘Today’ can go to the games with a complete, comfortable team of co-hosts,” a source familiar with the situation told the Times. Some observers predicted that a different arrangement could be announced as early as next week.
It is unknown whether Curry has accepted a deal yet. She is currently being represented by attorney Robert Barnett — who helped Christiane Amanpour negotiate her dual role at CNN and ABC News after leaving “This Week” — in the talks.
Since ascending to the job last June, Curry has faced a constant barrage of negative press about the show’s declining ratings and her chemistry with co-host Matt Lauer, which many felt was touched with more than a tinge of frost. The heat turned all the way up after “Good Morning America” beat “Today” in the ratings for the first week in sixteen years. Curry acknowledged the pressure she was facing at the time, while former host Meredith Vieira, whom she replaced, spoke out in her defense.
To frequent viewers, the signs of an impending shift could be seen in the sudden return of Vieira to a prominent role in past weeks. NBC announced that she would be one of the lead hosts for Olympics coverage, and even sent her to London with Lauer to cover the Diamond Jubilee — a plum assignment that would typically go to a current host. Curry’s absence was conspicuous.
Stepping down will not be easy for Curry, who spent fourteen years as the newsreader and pursued the top spot for years. She was a frontrunner for the job when Katie Couric left in 2006, but was passed over for Vieira instead.
Sorry it hasn’t worked out for Ann, but it would be nice to see Meredith back on the morning show. Let me know what you think on my facebook page by clicking here.