Ann Curry will leave as co-host of NBC’s “Today” show, the New York Times reported. The shakeup follow ratings gains by ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Curry, 55, will announce her departure as Matt Lauer’s co- host on tomorrow’s show, the newspaper said, citing unidentified people with close ties to the network. Savannah Guthrie, a 9 a.m. co-host, is negotiating with the Comcast Corp.-owned network to replace Curry in July, the Times said.
The switch is aimed at protecting NBC’s lead in viewers after “Good Morning America” topped “Today” in weekly Nielsen audience ratings in April for the first time in 16 years. NBC’s weekday morning show has trailed “GMA” on several other occasions over the past two months.
Robert Barnett, Curry’s attorney, declined to discuss his client’s status when reached by Bloomberg News. NBC officials didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Curry spent 14 years as news anchor of “Today” before succeeding Meredith Vieira as co-host last year. Guthrie, 40, is a co-host of the third hour of “Today,” and is NBC’s chief legal correspondent.
The NBC broadcast network generated (CMCSA:US) $1.85 billion of revenue in the first quarter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “Today” brings in almost $500 million in annual advertising revenue, the Times reported today.
Comcast, based in Philadelphia, is the largest U.S. cable TV service and holds a controlling stake in NBC Universal, which includes the NBC network, Universal Pictures film studio, theme parks and cable channels E!, USA and MSNBC.
Curry anchored “Dateline NBC” from May 2005 until September 2011, according to her “Today” website biography. She joined NBC News in August 1990 as a Chicago-based correspondent.
Comcast rose 1.5 percent to $31.04 at the close in New York. The shares have climbed 31 percent so far this year.
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