NBC at Work on Vieira Vehicle
Amid the news (make that confirmation) Monday that Today co-anchor Meredith Vieira would leave the top-rated morning news program in June was a note that Vieira would continue to have a presence at the news division. Now, it seems NBC may be eyeing a new primetime news magazine as a potential home for Vieira post-Today.
On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported that NBC is developing a new primetime news show to be hosted by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. The report said that Vieira is expected to contribute to the show, which could be a good vehicle for the former 60 Minutes correspondent to maintain a presence on the network outside of a full-time role.
At a Today show press conference in New York Monday, NBC News President Steve Capus said that in addition to Vieira having a standing invitation to report for Today, “There are other projects that we’re working on that we think could be perfect for her skill set. We love what Meredith has done at NBC News over the years and none of us want that to end and we’re trying to figure out the right way to make that happen.”
Vieira corroborated her desire to stay involved at NBC News adding, “If there’s a way for me to stay here, that is where my heart will be.”
A news show would make sense for NBC, who will pitch advertisers in New York next week on its plan to reverse its trailing primetime ratings. News magazines are much cheaper to produce than high-cost scripted fare, and would allow the Peacock to devote its dollars to other priorities, like to keeping The Voice singing and launching high-concept shows like the just-picked-up Smash.
An NBC News spokesperson said Thursday “We have no news to announce at this time,” adding “NBC News is always looking for ways to showcase our talent.”