Ann Curry will be released as a Today show co-host, just a few months after speculation increased about her job security, according to reports.
Meetings have been taking place as NBC producers attempt to find a replacement for Curry, who has been co-hosting the show with Matt Lauer since last June, when Meredith Viera left.
Curry has hired a well-known lawyer, Robert Br. Barnett, to represent her as negotiations with NBC continue. A deal is expected to be worked out before NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympic Games begins in July, reported the New York Times.
Since Curry became a co-host, Today has lost ratings. For nearly 60 years, it was consistently ranked as the No. 1 morning show until this spring, when ABC's Good Morning America beat Today. The NBC morning show reportedly lost by approximately 33,000 viewers.
The 'Today' show was one of the things at NBC that they could always count on being number 1, said Robert Thompson, the founding director of Syracuse University's Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture, reported the Daily News. And the fact that it's been being challenged for the first time in a long time now by ABC, I suppose has everybody scrambling.
However, even before the ratings loss, Curry, 55, was criticized by some unidentified individuals at NBC for her hosting style, the New York Times reported.
Unlike Lauer or Katie Couric, Curry is said to be not as flexible or quick-witted as producers and NBC officials would like her to be, reported the Daily Mail.
Katie Couric was really, really good at the job of cohosting the 'Today' show, which was that she had this huge range of job skills that went from putting on an apron when an author comes on that's written a cookbook to going to serious journalistic mode if breaking news is going on, Thompson said, reported the Daily News.
According to the Times, several people close to curry said she has struggled with the idea of leaving the show for some time.
She got her dream job, and she doesn't want to let it go, one of the people said.
NBC is reportedly considering moving her to a foreign correspondent role in order to utilize her strengths in reporting from disaster zones.
If you're co-hosting the thing, and then all of a sudden you're only a contributor in one way or another, that is a demotion of sorts, Thompson said. But I'm not sure that would be quite as spectacular as it would have been in some of these other much more visible moves that have taken place in morning television.
For example,when Katie Couric left 'Today,' there was that huge deal and then the drumrole to her anchoring the CBS news, Thomspon added. Ann Curry, her taking over as 'Today' show host, has been much quieter and more subtle.
Savannah Guthrie co-hosts the show's third hour is reportedly at the top of the list to replace Curry, reported the Associated Press. However, NBC is also considering bringing back Meredith Viera to reclaim her old position.