Even though there's been no confirmation that either Katie Couric or Matt Lauer are planning to leave their current TV gigs, there's already speculation that the pair may be teaming up again for a talk show.
The article that broke the story reads like something out of OK!, not the The Wall Street Journal (well, except for the note that CBS Corp. owns the CBS Evening News). Various people who are "familiar with the matter" say that Couric has been fielding offers from various media companies to create her own talk show. Lauer's contract with Today is up in 2012, and sources say he may want out.
Jeff Zucker, the former chief executive of NBCUniversal, who worked as a producer on Today with Lauer and Couric, has reportedly been discussing the possibility of bringing the two together again. He will "likely" play a role in developing Couric's theoretical syndicated show, but liberating Lauer for the operation "would require a lot of complicated machinations to occur," according to a source.
Since Meredith Viera is probably leaving Today this year, NBC will be desperate to keep Lauer on. Losing both anchors could mean a huge hit in the ratings, and while NBC trails the other major networks in prime-time, Today has been No. 1 for 15 years. It's unclear if Couric will stay at CBS, where she also contributes to 60 Minutes, but if Lauer is convinced to stay on at NBC in some capacity, the
project twinkle in a producer's eye may not come to fruition.
With all this gossiping, we're surprised no one is talking about the most troubling question raised by the prospect of a Couric/Lauer reunion: What's Al Roker supposed to do if Matt leaves him alone with Ann Curry? For the love of God, won't someone think of Al?!