Ann Curry said to be new ‘Today’ co-anchor

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NEW YORK—She’s jumped from airplanes, interviewed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, bowed to the Dalai Lama, traveled to Darfur,
and said “now the weather from Al” about 10,000 times — all in the
service of a show that never handed her the crown. And now it appears
the crown is finally within her grasp.

How does “Ann Curry, co-anchor of
the ‘Today Show,'” sound? Music to her ears, no doubt. Industry
speculation has grown in recent days that Curry will finally be named
co-anchor when Meredith Vieira steps down, possibly by late summer.

Battered by anchor succession reports as well as an
intensifying battle with second-place-and-closing “Good Morning
America,” “Today” has flicked away media questions with “we prefer not
to comment on” rumor and speculation, although Jim Bell, the show’s executive producer told the Hollywood Reporter that Vieira “hasn’t told me” of her decision.

But Vieira’s departure and Curry’s appointment are so widely expected — including inside NBC — it would be news if they don’t happen.

Meanwhile, Savannah Guthrie, co-host of MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown,” is expected to be named co-anchor of the 9 a.m. EDT edition of “Today.” (A report in the online newspaper The Daily Thursday said Curry’s appointment will be made next month.)

Vieira is leaving, some say, because she’s weary of
the grind. That should not be an issue with Curry, who’s spent almost
her entire career at NBC and was bruised when she was passed over for the job when Katie Couric left. She’s worked very hard to build her hard-news chops during the past five years with trips to the Congo, Serbia, Haiti and other places, in part to negate the rap she was a soft-news specialist who couldn’t hold her own.

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(c) 2011, Newsday.

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Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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