Hoda Kotb, co-host of “Today”, is reportedly in talks with ABC to join “The View” once Joy Behar leaves the show in August.
The New York Post’s Page Six reported that ABC is “very interested” in Kotb, who co-hosts the fourth hour of NBC’s “Today” with Kathie Lee Gifford, and that the channel had already reached out to her. But, Kotb has not confirmed the rumor and ABC has denied it.
"There's absolutely zero truth to this whatsoever," an ABC spokeswoman said in a statement cited by Page Six.
A source close to Kotb also quashed these rumors saying that she is contented with her job. “Hoda loves her job at ‘Today’ and she’s very happy laughing and scratching with Kathie Lee every day.”
But, media insiders believe that ABC might strike a deal with Kotb, who possesses a certain expertise and skill the network is looking for, now that it is restructuring the host panel on “The View” since the retirement of Barbara Walters, and Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s move to Fox News.
“Hoda addresses several of their needs,” a media insider explained to Page Six, on why ABC is interested in Kotb. “She has news experience, which is something ‘The View’ has not had since Meredith Vieira left. She also adds some diversity to the panel.”
Kotb has been co-hosting “Today” with Gifford since 2007, and according to reports, Kotb's contract expires this fall. Rumors about Kotb leaving the network have been swirling around for a while now, with TMZ reporting earlier this year that there is increasing tension between Kotb and Gifford.
The friction between the co-hosts reportedly began when Kotb felt that Gifford had snubbed her by not promoting her book on the air, and they were also at loggerheads over the fourth hour of “Today” moving to Hollywood from New York City.
"Both women are really strong, so tension is almost inevitable," a source told TMZ.
Keerthi Mohan is an IBTimes reporter covering entertainment and human interest stories.