'Today Show' SHAKEUP
A shakeup may be imminent at NBC'S "Today Show."
Co-host Meredith Vieira, who has been in the early-morning anchor seat for the past 5 years, is leaning toward leaving when her contract expires in September. But according to an unconfirmed "Entertainment Tonight" story, Vieira's partner, Matt Lauer, is also contemplating leaving when his contract is done in 21 months.
If both anchors leave, this would be huge for the morning show business. "Today" has been No. 1 in the morning show ratings for a whopping 798 consecutive weeks. This is more than 15 years without a loss to ABC's "Good Morning America," CBS' "The Early Show" or any morning program.
"Today" has been a gold mine for NBC, which was stretched to four hours long and earned more than a half-billion dollars for NBC News in 2010 --- the largest it ever has. "Today" also has an exceptionally strong and trusted team. Lauer has been with the show since 1994 and co-anchor since replacing Bryant Gumbel in 1997. Newsreader Ann Curry has been there since 1997. And T.V. favorite Al Roker, who forecasts weather and does features and anchors during the 9 a.m. hour, joined in 1996. "A lot of their strength has been that they have had a team together with very strong interpersonal relationships for a long time," said David Westin, former ABC News president.
So far, the two anchors have not officially commented on their futures. "There seems to be an awful lot of speculation on news anchors these days, and it's not our practice to comment on any of it," NBC News spokeswoman Megan Kopf said.