Ann Curry is set to replace Meredith Vieira on the “Today” show in June. The spot Curry holds as the newsreader is rumored to be going to Natalie Morales. Vieira’s contract expires in September but she is leaving early after having expressing a desire to spend more time with her family. Her husband has multiple sclerosis.
The change of co-anchors from Meredith Vieira to Ann Curry is the only one that the “Today” show is making. Lauer has said that he will not be doing a talk show with Vieira, even though they had discussed it, he will be staying as a co-anchor. While Lauer has been on the show for fifteen years, Vieira made her appearance five years ago when Katie Couric left to do the evening news.
Meredith Vieira has been trying since January to make a decision and a family vacation along with graduations made June better than September for her to leave the show. June 8, 2011 will be the last time she co-anchors the show. Her husband is still in good health and according to Vieira he does not like being shown as being an invalid. It is time for the couple to enjoy time together while they still can.
Fifty-four year old Ann Curry was the top anchor for the show since 1997 and began specializing in the issue of human rights around the world when she was passed up to replace Couric. Curry even traveled to Pakistan to report on Osama bin Laden being killed which delayed the announcement by NBC that she would replace Meredith Vieira.
Natalie Morales will still co-host with Al Roker during the third hours of the four hour show in addition to taking over the role of newsreader for Curry. The third host for the third hour is Savannah Guthrie which leaves MSNBC with an opening. Her co-anchor spot will leave an empty spot at the show she now co-hosts with Chuck Todd.
CBS and ABC are both seeing changes in their morning shows as well. David Friedman is leaving his position as executive producer at “The Early Show” after less than two years. The winter saw a change in the talent on-air. ABC added Lara Spencer as the lifestyle anchor approximately the same time that the announcement that Meredith Vieira There is also a new executive producer and other changes.
Meredith Vieira may be leaving the “Today” show but there has been talk of her coming back to make an occasional appearance.