New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter broke the story that NBC's Today show was planning an exit for anchor Ann Curry. Curry has hosted the show alongside Matt Lauer for only a year, but has appeared on the show in some form for 14 years.
Today is regarded as the inventor of morning network television, but has recently faced challenge to its lead in the ratings from ABC's Good Morning America. Some had blamed the lack of chemistry between Curry and long-time host Lauer as a factor in the show's decline.
According to Stelter, negotiations for replacing Curry have gone on in secret, with executives worrying that Today viewers may stop watching the show if they felt the host was given the boot. Some speculate that Curry will be offered a foreign correspondent position. For the negotiations, Curry has hired Robert B. Barnett, who also represented Christiane Amanpour during her departure from ABC's This Week, Stelter reports.
Not surprisingly, the Twitterverse was a-flurry once Stelter, an avid Twitter user himself, published the initial story. Many, including CNN host Piers Morgan, tweeted their support for Curry. While others, like comedian Michelle Collins and a parody account of Korean President Kim Jong Un took the opportunity to crack some jokes.
After the news broke Wednesday, NBC officials worried that Curry would not show up to work Thursday, even making a contingency plan for a substitute host, as reported by the New York Times. When 7 a.m. rolled around Curry and Lauer were both present in front of the Today show cameras. No mention of the news of Curry's possible exit was made, but Curry did tweet "Good morning twitterverse," mid-show to her 1.2 million Twitter followers.
According to Stelter, NBC hopes to usher Curry out before Today's special broadcast from this summer's Olympics in London. Today correspondents Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales have both been mentioned has possible replacements.