Is a shakeup coming again to the anchor’s seat on NBC’s “Today” show?
According to new online reports, Meredith Vieira may be set to walk away from the popular morning show when her contract is up in September.
A source close to Vieira reportedly told TV Guide, which first reported the story, that she is ready to move on and is tired of the early morning hours and would like more time to focus on the care of her husband, Richard, who for several years now has battled multiple sclerosis and cancer.
“NBC is doing everything they can to convince her to stay,” a source told TV Guide.
Additionally, a source told The Hollywood Reporter, “There is going to be an opening; she’s done.”
Additionally, The Hollywood Reported speculated that the potential departure in the foreseeable future of Vieira’s co-host, Matt Lauer, has the network eyeing potential male host replacements as well, which includes MSNBC’s Willie Geist and CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla.
NBC News released a statement on Wednesday afternoon in regards to the Lauer speculation.
“There seems to be an awful lot of speculation around news anchors these days, and it’s not our practice to comment on any of it. Matt Lauer has a long term contract with NBC News and ‘Today,’” the statement to Access Hollywood noted.
Vieira, 57, left “The View” and joined the “Today” show lineup in 2006, when she replaced Katie Couric as co-anchor.
In March 2010, when her three-year deal was set to expire, Vieira signed a new one-year contract with the morning program, which expires in September.
When contacted by Access Hollywood, a spokesperson for the show would only say, “The ‘Today’ show anchors are currently under contract and firmly in place.”
Should Vieira leave, it is widely believed that Ann Curry would step up as the likely new co-anchor, alongside Lauer. Although, third hour host Natalie Morales and CNBC’s Erin Burnett are reportedly also replacement options.
In October 2010, Vieira opened up about walking away from the show, if the time was right.
“I’ll know when it’s time to go, and I’m not afraid to go,” she told Ladies’ Home Journal at the time. “If I were to leave at the end of next year because it’s time for me, I wouldn’t jump into another show. I would look forward to not working, to traveling with Richard and carving out time for us.”