NBC Preps Vieira Announcement


NBC News has called a 1:30 pm ET press conference in New York at which it is expected to name Meredith Vieira as the new co-host of Today, replacing Katie Couric.

The multi-year pact would put Vieira alongside Matt Lauer after her contract with ABC’s The View expires  July 31. The sides could, however, reach an agreement that would allow Vieira to join Today earlier; Katie Couric is leaving for CBS at the end of May.

Whether Vieira jumps to Today in June or NBC uses a series of fill-ins until August, NBC will have the asset of selling the new Lauer-Vieira partnership as its crown jewel in the upfront market.

The other remaining issue is Vieira’s role as host of the syndicated game show strip Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. NBC is said to have cleared her to continue on the Buena Vista Television show, but Vieira may pursue a release from her contract, which has two seasons remaining.

Should she remain on Millionaire while taking over on Today, expect NBC to deflect any criticism with reminders that Hugh Downs hosted both Today and game show Concentration concurrently in the 1960s.