February 23, 2024

Media Decoder: Vieira Likely to Leave NBC’s ‘Today’

Meredith Vieira, the co-host of NBC’s “Today” show, is likely to leave the top-rated morning show this year, two people with knowledge of her deliberations said Tuesday.

Ms. Vieira’s contract ends in September, and she has made no secret that she dislikes the early morning wake-up calls and the stress of the position. She has not notified NBC of a decision, but is leaning toward leaving, according to the people, who insisted on anonymity to avoid affecting the outcome. If Ms. Vieira, 57, does leave, the news anchor on “Today,” Ann Curry, 54, would be a leading contender to replace her.

“Today” is both historic and highly lucrative, so the management of any anchor change on the show would be a major test for Comcast, which gained control of NBC earlier this year.

Separately, TV Guide and The Hollywood Reporter both reported on Tuesday that Ms. Vieira’s exit looked likely. The people with knowledge of her deliberations said that foremost on her mind are her three children and her husband, Richard Cohen, who has multiple sclerosis.

Ms. Vieira, a former reporter for CBS News and co-host of ABC’s “The View,” joined “Today” in 2006, replacing Katie Couric. Her co-host is Matt Lauer, who has been on the show since 1997. Mr. Lauer’s contract is said to extend beyond this year, but its end date is not known.

The possibility that Ms. Vieira would leave “Today” was heightened last year when she opted for a one-year contract extension rather than a long-term extension.

She commented on the possibility of leaving late last year, telling Ladies’ Home Journal, “I’ll know when it’s time to go, and I’m not afraid to go. 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.”

She added in that interview, “You’re always doing something, if you are curious. It doesn’t have to be a 9-to-5 job.”

Ms. Vieira did not respond to a phone call or text message on Tuesday evening, and her agent was in Rome and unavailable to comment. When asked about Ms. Vieira, NBC said in a statement, “The ‘Today’ show anchors are currently under contract and firmly in place.”

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=131f63b962899e94352bf51b8d63830b

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