The New York Times' Media Decoder blog reported Wednesday evening that NBC executives are currently engaged in secret negotiations to replace Ann Curry on the Today show just one year after she joined Matt Lauer as co-host.
Now the shake-up is apparently imminent, with insiders suggesting a replacement co-host could be announced as early as next week. (Savannah Guthrie, host of the show's 9a.m. hour and Curry's occasional fill-in, is still the front-runner.)
One thing is for damn sure: NBC doesn't want Ann Curry's gravitas anywhere near the Summer Olympics, which kick off July 27.
"They feel real pressure to get it done by the Olympics," one of the people with knowledge of the negotiations said. That way, "Today" can go to the games with a complete, comfortable team of co-hosts. The show typically gets a big ratings bounce - just the sort of thing it needs to fend off "Good Morning America."
Earlier this year, GMA nabbed the No. 1 ratings position for its timeslot for a period of several weeks. Prior to that, Today had led in the ratings for an unbroken streak of 16 years.
Many blame Today's decline on the lack of chemistry between its current roster of anchors.
Matt Lauer recently said, of his partnership with Curry, "[It] is still a transition." Yeesh.
One of the sources quoted in the Media Decoder post reports that Curry has mixed feelings about giving up her spot, because it is "her dream job, and she doesn't want to let it go."
This will no doubt come as a surprise to anyone who has ever watched Curry clomp awkwardly through an interview, sometimes whispering to show she knows what "concerned" is; sometimes shooting her arm out with a mechanical jerk to pat a guest on the shoulder because it is something she saw a human do once.
Insiders are speculating that Curry may be moved into a position as a foreign correspondent — a role which would so obviously play to her strengths, it's astounding NBC hasn't maneuvered her into such a gig before now.
Some people are just better at reporting on the ethnic killings in Darfur than they are making small talk with Matt Lauer.