The worst-kept secret in daytime was confirmed Monday when Today show co-host Meredith Vieira announced she'd be leaving the NBC morning show when her contract expires next month, though she'll continue at the network in some capacity. (The New York Times said last week Vieira's decision would be "entirely her own," and that she wanted to spend more time with her family. The Daily Mail noted that her husband, Richard, has multiple sclerosis and cancer.) Here she is today announcing her departure:
With Vieira's exit confirmed, here's a look at what the new talent roster will look like for the juggernaut morning show, which NBC insiders estimate turns a $200 million profit annually for the division:
Ann Curry (Co-host)
Curry has been news anchor at Today for 14 years. She gets Vieira's job after losing out on the position when Katie Couric jumped to CBS in 2006. Why Curry? She's popular, has paid her dues, and as the New York Times reported, she has a clause in her contract "that assure[s] her that if she did not get the promotion this time, her contract would be voided and she would be available to move elsewhere immediately."
Matt Lauer (Co-host)
Lauer won't be joining his former Today co-host Katie Couric in syndication, but it's unclear how much longer he'll be at Today. His contract is up in December 2012, and rumor has it he's already told the news division he'll depart the show at that time. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last week, Today executive producer Jim Bell called the suggestion Lauer's already made up his mind "ludicrous" and "silly speculation."
Natalie Morales (News anchor)
Morales moves up from third hour anchor to news anchor. She only joined the show in 2006, but apparently NBC likes her. It was announced in March that she'll have a regular role on The Marriage Ref, Jerry Seinfeld's reality show for the network.
Savannah Guthrie (9 a.m. anchor)
The MSNBC White House correspondent (right) and co-host of the network's 9 a.m. Morning Rundown is departing Washington for New York. MSNBC has announced Chuck Todd will continue as solo host of the show. The New York Post has already wondered what the move will mean for Guthrie's relationship with D.C.-based political consultant Michael Feldman.
Al Roker (Meteorologist)
Al Roker will remain Al Roker.(He'll also serve as co-host at 9 a.m. with Guthrie)