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Well, some of the media rumors turned out to be true. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Today host Ann Curry is in fact being replaced. And her associate Savannah Guthrie, who's been touted as the frontrunner for her job, may soon be stepping behind Today's anchor desk.
But talk of Curry's $10 million payout -- and her lawyer's haggling to make it $20 million -- seems to be wrong. In fact, the assumption that she would leave the network turned out to be premature. Instead, NBC is reportedly keeping her on, offering her a "substantial" role with its news division after she exits Today.
And Guthrie, who cohosts Today's 9 a.m. hour with Natalie Morales and Al Roker, has been reportedly offered Curry's position.
This personnel shift has been in the works for a while now. A year ago -- when Curry took Meredith Vieira's seat beside Matt Lauer -- Guthrie moved up to Today's third hour from her role as a legal correspondent and a White House correspondent. This was "seen at the time as a 'grooming' move in preparation for the day Curry left, or was eased out," writes Newsday's Verne Gay. Execs probably didn't expect to move Guthrie up so quickly. But the dip in Today's ratings may have forced their hand.
There's no need to feel sorry for Curry, especially now that we all know about her $10-million a year salary. But you had to feel for her yesterday when, in the midst of all the speculation about her being fired, she was hit with a camera during a crowd-panning sequence out on Rockefeller Plaza. Talk about adding injury to insult!
She wasn't actually hurt physically, but it couldn't have helped her wounded self-esteem! After all, Curry's failed cohosting stint certainly wasn't due to lack of effort. On the contrary, she often seemed to be working too hard to appear morning-show-breezy.
People like Katie Couric and Vieira make it look easy, but coming off as natural on camera is actually a relatively rare gift. Is it one that Guthrie possesses? We'll find out soon enough.