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Report: Anderson Cooper Asked to Replace Matt Lauer at ‘Today’

Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013 01:30 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Image: Report: Anderson Cooper Asked to Replace Matt Lauer at ‘Today’
Will Anderson Cooper replace Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today” show? (AP)
CNN’s Anderson Cooper could be jumping to NBC to take over from Matt Lauer on the network’s ailing “Today” show, according to a new report.

The Peacock Network brass approached Cooper to take over from Lauer before the end of the year, according to Deadline Hollywood TV Editor Nellie Andreeva.

Lauer has been under fire for allegedly pushing co-anchor Ann Curry out and for the precipitous drop in the morning show’s ratings. Andreeva said NBC reached out to Lauer for his consent, but “they got pushback from the ‘Today’ veteran, who contacted Cooper to express his disapproval.” That apparently “caught Cooper by surprise, as he had assumed Lauer had been brought on board” before NBC reached out to him.

Celebrity website TMZ, however, reported that it confirmed the call never happened. It claimed, “Lauer is actually on board with the idea of Anderson replacing him,” adding that he actually planned to have a meeting with Cooper to sit down and discuss it.

TMZ said Lauer put that meeting on hold because of a negative article about the “Today” show that appeared in New York magazine recently.

Cooper, who Andreeva said can get out of his CNN contract, is just the latest name to be rumored to take Lauer’s job. Others reportedly considered include Ryan Seacrest, “Today” co-host Willie Geist, and “Meet the Press” host David Gregory.

Lauer, who reportedly signed a long-term $25 million contract with NBC last year, has meanwhile been rumored to be a possible replacement for Alex Trebek of “Jeopardy” when the longtime game-show host retires.

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