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TV Column
Posted at 11:06 AM ET, 04/11/2011

Today in “Whither Goest Katie Couric?” [updated]


Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira — gone? Eventually? (RICHARD DREW - ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Update: Katie Couric’s camp and Matt Lauer’s camp have spoken about a reunion, kind of like how the Backstreet Boys/New Kids on the Block are coming to 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore over Memorial Day weekend, only it would be every day in a syndicated TV show.

Sweet!

In case you’ve forgotten, they were America’s morning infotainment sweethearts, from 1997 to 2006.

Ever since The Associated Press last Monday pulled the starter-gun trigger on the race to report Katie Couric Is Leaving CBS Evening News But May Stay With CBS, Or Not, Depending On The Offers She Gets For A Syndicated Show, it appears other TV news on-air talent have been trying to hone in on Katie’s action.

It has resulted in a flurry of press reports about on-air talent who may be about to hurl themselves from their multi-million-dollar TV news gravy trains, like lemmings vacationing at scenic Norwegian cliffs

A couple days after the AP let fly with its report on Couric, a report surfaced that Meredith Vieira might leave NBC News’s “Today” show when her contract is up later this year.

Vieira’s original three-year contract to host the morning infotainment show already expired and she’s been operating under a one year contract that’s coming up in September.

The report said she’s sick of the early morning grind – aren’t we all? – and has other, personal reasons, for thinking about throwing in the towel. But NBC News execs are doing their best to keep her on board, the report said.

Good for them.

Faster than you can say “agents love to negotiate big-ticket talent contracts in the press,” “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider” started reporting that sources were telling them “Today’s” OTHER co-host, Matt Lauer, planned to tell NBC News honchos that HE was going to leave the show.

Lauer’s camp has let his NBC bosses know he plans to resign from the show, both bastions of journalism reported.

When Matt’s contract expires.

On Dec. 31.

Of 2012.

With the two brightest stars in the “Today” show firmament (sorry, Ann Curry) now on the May Be Leaving List, the show was moved to issue a statement, saying, “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.” The show noted Lauer and Vieira are currently under contract.

Then, as the Reporters Who Cover Television scrambled to find out who would be the next to think about maybe leaving his or her highly-paid on-air job in TV news, that evil genius over at Time, James Poniewozik planted his flag in all future They May Be Leaving reports, giving him bragging right to say he’d gotten the scoop on them all, when he tweeted:

“People currently on TV shows will, at some point in the future, no longer be on those shows.”

Drat! Why didn’t we think of that?!

By  |  11:06 AM ET, 04/11/2011

 
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