Seemingly right after we learned that Katie Couric was expected to leave her post as anchor of CBS News came the news that Meredith Vieira was also probably going to leave her job on the Today show when her $11 million contract expires in September. Sources say the reason for her departure would be related to the tough schedule of extremely early mornings, in combination with wanting to spend more time with her husband, who currently suffers from multiple sclerosis. When talking about the time she’d consider leaving the show to Ladies’ Home Journal, she said “I’ll know when it’s time to go, and I’m not afraid. If I were to leave Today at the end of next year because it’s the time for me, I wouldn’t jump on another show. I would look forward to not working, to traveling with Richard and craving out time for us.” However, she’s supposed to continue hosting the game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
Last September was the original date for when Vieira’s contract was to expire, but she decided to renew it for another 12 months. It is unlikely that she’ll choose to tack on 12 more months, and so NBC executives have already begun the process of picking her replacement. Possible candidates include Ann Curry, (who’s been the show’s news anchor since 1997), Nataile Morales, Savannah Guthrie, and CNBC’s Erin Burnett. Another conflict could arise if executives choose someone other than Curry to fill Vieira’s void because they believe if they select someone else for the position, she will be forced into leaving the show, too.