12:30 EST 23 June 2012
With Ann Curry reportedly falling victim to the ratings war between GMA and the Today show, her colleague Hoda Kotb has emerged as the front-runner to replace her as anchor.
Sources at NBC claim that Curry could leave as early as next week and Kotb, who hosts the fourth hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford is being touted as the Curry’s replacement to sit alongside Matt Lauer.
Kotb, who has been with NBC since 1998 is said to be seen by executives at the Peacock network to offer a seamless transition for Today, as it battles to re-establish its 16-year-long supremacy over GMA in the ratings.
Hoda Kotb has emerged as the front-runner to replace outgoing Today show anchor Ann Curry
‘Hoda has a hard news background but is extremely comfortable discussing pop culture issues,’ said the NBC insider to Radaronline.com.
‘She just has a warmth that viewers find comforting. She was very public with her breast cancer battle, and allowed cameras to follow her during her cancer treatments on Today.
‘Hoda is a team player, and is so well liked by everyone at the show, most importantly, Matt Lauer.
‘They have a very easy rapport and mutual respect. Hoda even recently interviewed Matt for a Hamptons Magazine profile on him.’
Taking the rap for the falling ratings at the Today show, Curry’s lack of chemistry with Lauer is seen by executives at NBC as the major cause of her contract being terminated.
Kotb, meanwhile, has been gushing with her praise of Lauer, who recently signed up to a $25 million contract extension with Today.
‘Matt is hands-down the most talented journalist I have ever seen, and he is one of the funniest people I know,’ said Kotb in a Hamptons Magazine profile about Lauer.
‘He is also compassionate, and I think it’s that characteristic that drives him to motivate others to take care of their community.’
With Kotb scoring highly in focus groups, she is thought to have beaten off competition from Savannah Guthrie to take the highly coveted anchor role on Today.
‘The problem with Savannah is that in focus groups, she just doesn’t score as high as Hoda does,’ said the insider.
‘NBC has been conducting focus groups to assist the network executives in determining who should replace Ann.
‘Savannah is an extremely talented journalist, and she is extremely bright, but she only recently joined Today and viewers just aren’t as comfortable with her.’
With the Olympics fast approaching, NBC has been under pressure to deliver a ratings winning team as they all transfer to London to broadcast for the duration of the games.
‘NBC is counting on Today to deliver huge ratings during the Olympics,’ said the source.
‘They need the new team in place, and quickly. The original plan had been for Hoda and Kathie Lee to stay in New York City and do the fourth hour from the set.
‘However, Hoda is now being asked to go cover the Olympics in London.’
Ann Curry is expected to be transferred back to her original love of foreign reporting and to remain at NBC.
Reports surfaced late Wednesday that Curry, who took over the anchor chair June 9, 2011, would be removed from her spot as Matt Lauer’s cohost before the network’s Olympic coverage begins next month.
But on Thursday morning, rather than calling in sick or skipping work, she was back next to Lauer as though nothing was amiss.
The New York Times reported that NBC executives were preparing for Curry not to show up on Thursday.
On Wednesday it was reported she would be gone from her role before the Summer Olympics begin July 27. NBC has the rights to air the Olympics and the whole show will be anchored from London.
On Wednesday, Today show producers contacted Hoda Kotb, who co-hosts the fourth hour of the program, and told her to be ready to go on the air at 7am.
But Curry, who reportedly makes $2 million a year, was there, acting like normal.
‘Good morning Twitterverse,’ she tweeted to her 1.2 million followers on Thursday.
‘Good morning. From hot to hotter. You thought yesterday was a scorcher? In many places in the East today, it’s going to get even hotter,’ she said at the opening of the show.
Curry has taken the blame from many at NBC for the Today show’s ratings decline. The program lost the top spot among network morning shows this spring, a position it had held, unbroken, since 1995.
Part of the problem is a lack of chemistry with Lauer, who had great on-air chemistry with Curry’s predecessors Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira.
Possible replacements: Savannah Guthrie (left) and Natalie Morales (right) are both on the show now and are being considered to take over Curry’s anchor chair when she leaves it
While NBC won the months of April and May for the morning slot against ABC, multiple weeks they lost to Good Morning America.
One week in April broke the 16 year winning streak, and the week of May 21 Today lost to their rival by 33,000.
Later in Thursday’s program she appeared alongside Lauer, Al Roker and Natalie Morales — one of the women who has been mentioned as her possible replacement.
Her ‘good morning ‘tweet, sent out about 8am, received dozens of responses from her fans, who offered her their support.
‘To know just how professional @AnnCurry is, she’s been faultless co-hosting @todayshow this morning. Despite all the pressure. #ClassAct,’ CNN interviewer Piers Morgan tweeted.
The flurry made Ann Curry the top trending phrase on Twitter Thursday morning. Curry didn’t respond to any of her supporters.
Curry has been criticized for not being as flexible or quite as quick-witted as Lauer or Couric, who had the hosting job for 15 years before leaving in 2006.
Couric was replaced by Vieira.
Lauer, who recently received a reported $30 million annual contract to stay at NBC is reportedly one of the people working to push Curry out.
NBC producers are beginning to panic as ABC’s Good Morning America has begun trading off with the Today show for the top network morning show.
Curry’s more prominent role in the morning show has received the blame for this slump.
Negotiations are currently underway with network executives to move Curry into a new job, likely as a foreign correspondent.
But, she’s apparently not leaving without a fight.
‘She got her dream job, and she doesn’t want to let it go,’ a source told the Times.
Savannah Guthrie, who co-hosts the show’s third hour, is at the top of the list of Curry’s possible replacements.
Natalie Morales, Today’s news anchor, and Meredith Vieira, who left the co-host role last year, have been mentioned in talks for the position, news outlets reported.
Vieira has remained involved with NBC. In addition to Today co-hosting duties from London during the Queen’s Jubillee, she will also be contributing from the upcoming Summer Olympics for the network.
However, TMZ reported on Thursday she had been offered and refused to return.
A decision about her departure from the show could be made before the Summer Olympics begins in later this summer.
Several staff members who work on the show have blamed Curry as the reason for the decline in ratings after she took over the co-host job, according to the New York Times.
Since then, Today and Good Morning America have been trading wins.
Some reports suggest the longtime member of the Today show may become a foreign correspondent at the network.
For Curry, however, the reality of ending her time on the program has been difficult.
Attorney Robert B Barnett is representing Curry in the discussions.
The lawyer is known for having represented Christiane Amanpour in her talks with ABC as she left the news program This Week.
Curry began working as news anchor for the Today show in 1997, a position she held onto until she was promoted to share the hosting role with Lauer.
She has an extensive background in global reporting.
Curry began a career at NBC in 1990 as part of the NBC News team.
Hoda Kotb was born on August 9th, 1964 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoda_Kotb
August 9th, 1964
8 + 9 +2+0+1+1 = 21 = her personal year (from August 9th, 2011 to August 8th, 2012) = Seeing the big picture. On the world stage. For all the world to see.
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
8641 2622 31
her path of destiny = 31 = Competitive. Competition. Throwing her hat into the ring.
comprehensive summary and list of predictions for 2012:
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