The morning television meltdown than began in earnest on June 28th, 2012 amidst Ann Curry’s emotional and sudden goodbye was followed by immediate chatter suggesting that the shakeup at NBC programming had only just begun.
Despite earlier rumors that Hoda Kotb might be tapped to replace Curry in the co-anchor chair, NBC confirmed the morning following Curry’s announced departure that – as anticipated by NBC insiders – Savannah Guthrie was the cute new co-anchor of Today.
Guthrie “has a one-of-a-kind combination of sharp wit and approachability, and our viewers value her journalistic skills and legal background just as much as her humor and charm,” said Today executive producer Jim Bell. “She can effortlessly go from interviewing the Secretary of State to jumping Olympic-sized hurdles on the plaza.”
Although she was rumored to have wanted the job, Hoda Kotb didn’t get the job. And some say that Kotb may end up in the talent shuffle taking place in morning television at NBC this summer.
“There’s a lot of speculation that Hoda and Kathie Lee [Gifford] don’t really get along and that Kathie is hard to work with,” former E! TV personality Mike Randazzo exclusively tells Examiner. “Of course, no one can confirm that other than Hoda and Kathie, but the ratings are good and Hoda is tremendously popular with viewers, so I don’t think NBC wants her to leave. But Hoda, I think, wants to do hard news. And that means she may end up on an earlier hour of Today. If so, Kathie Lee – who is also hugely popular and experiencing a comeback of sorts – is going to need a new co-host. And I think we all know who that’s going to be.”
“I never gave it another thought and all of the sudden these things are happening at NBC one day after another,” Regis Philbin told The New York Post days before Curry’s reassignment. “I haven’t heard a word but I never thought it would come up again,” he added, adding that such a possibility isn’t necessarily out of the question. “Five days a week … I don’t know if I like doing that.”
Philbin retired as co-host of “Live With Regis & Kelly” in November 2011, following a 28 year stint, fifteen years of which were spent with Gifford. After Philbin was briefly reunited with Gifford on Today – when Hoda was on vacation – ratings soared and viewers began hankering for more of the nostalgic good vibes that came from the reunited pair.
“Hoda asked me to [sub for her] and I had a lot of fun and all of the sudden things seem to be growing,” Philbin told the New York Post.
To learn more about the inside happenings behind morning television’s biggest scandal, check out a new eBook entitled “Ann Curry: The Unauthorized Story of Why She Was Tossed From NBC’s ‘Today’” (written by yours truly) available now on Amazon.com.