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Meredith Vieira to Leave 'Today' and Be Replaced

April 6, 2011 (4:22 am) GMT
NBC and the morning show's team reportedly are weighing on the option to replace her with either Ann Curry, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie or Erin Burnett.

There's a rumor circulating around that Meredith Vieira is leaving "" and NBC has even prepared a list of names to replace her. "There is going to be an opening, she is done," a source with knowledge to the situation told THR.

Vieira's $11 million annual contract will expire in September. The reason she's leaving is reportedly not the network's. According to sources, the 57-year-old is tired of the grueling lifestyle and would like to spend more time with her ill husband. She has the option to extend her contract for another 12 months but the show's producers allegedly have considered a replacement.

Should NBC go with the latter option, then "Today" could be hosted by either , Natalie Morales, or Erin Burnett. But NBC would be careful when making any changes since "Today" has been a money maker for them, proven by the $454 million in ad revenue last year. For comparison, ABC earned $314 million in ads for "" and CBS took in $178 million for "Early Show".

NBC remains mum on the issue, only releasing the following statement to the press, "The Today show anchors are currently under contract and firmly in place."

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