Ann Curry has been a beloved co-anchor on Today since joining the show about a year ago, when she took the place of Meredith Viera. But some people have said she doesn't have enough chemistry with co-host Matt Lauer, and the show's ratings have begun to sag in recent months, driving it into a near-tie with ABC's Good Morning America for first in the morning show race.
NBC is taking the bull by the horns, and despite the fact that viewers seem to love the classiness and professionalism exuded by Curry, the network is letting her go next week, sources tell the New York Daily News (NBC has not commented on the situation, and has failed to acknowledge rumors that Curry will be let go.)
Next in Line
Media observers are already speculating about who may replace Ann Curry opposite Lauer, and the most likely candidates are Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, according to the Daily News' David Hinckley.
The fantasy television leagues have been in overdrive since it became clear NBC wants to replace Ann Curry as co-host of Today, and most players at the moment are betting on either Savannah Guthrie or Hoda Kotb, Hinckley wrote Monday.
Guthrie, 40, has been at NBC since 2007. She's an attorney who got her first major national exposure on Court TV back when it covered courts, and she is well-known for her reporting from trials like Michael Jackson's ... Kotb, 47, came to Today in 2007, the same year she told her most difficult story by chronicling her battle with breast cancer. That fight, which so far she has won, earned her both respect and empathy. The question may lie in the rest of her résumé.
The suggestion that Curry will get $10 million from NBC if she is indeed shown the door was first reported by TMZ, which wrote that sources say she is under a guaranteed $10-million-per-year contract with the network.
As such, if she is let go, NBC would likely have to cough up that sizable sum, or perhaps even more as TMZ's source suggested that there may be two full years left on her contract.
The idea that the affair has been handled in a back-handed manner has riled a number of media observers, including David Zurawik at the Baltimore Sun, who on Sunday wrote about the situation:
What NBC News President Steve Capus and his lieutenants are doing to Ann Curry as they let her twist in the wind at 'Today' is brutal. It's been called 'death by a thousand leaks,' and after the career she's had as a journalist, the 55-year-old Curry deserves better, Zurawik wrote. ... NBC News has every right to make the change at 'Today,' but they also have an obligation to do so professionally, I believe.
And as one reader wrote in the comments section of a Daily News article on the topic, the viewing public may also be turned off if Curry is let go unceremoniously.
I love Ann Curry and will quit watching the Today Show & NBC News if they let her go!!!