Latest Rumor: Is Matt Lauer Leaving ‘Today’?

What is going on in the land of TV news? First, Katie Couric is reportedly set to leave the anchor desk at the CBS Evening News. Then Meredith Vieira is rumored to want out of NBC’s “Today” show, apparently to get her mornings – and her life – back. Then Glenn Beck announces he’s leaving his Fox News pulpit but, according to him, not Fox. And now, in the latest stunner, Matt Lauer is rumored to be departing “Today.” According to “Entertainment Tonight,” “Matt Lauer has notified his NBC bosses that he will be resigning from the “Today” show when his contract expires on December 31, 2012.” It almost sounds like somebody in TV news has flipped all the pages in the Mayan calendar. “E.T.” wondered, “Could he be thinking about re-teaming with his former “Today” show co-host Katie Couric and his former “Today” show executive producer Jeff Zucker? It has been widely speculated that Couric is expected to leave the “CBS Evening News” and launch her own talk show with Zucker.”

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Lauer won’t be sleeping late anytime soon. “There seems to be an awful lot of speculation around news anchors these days, and it’s not our practice to comment on any of it,” said a statement from “Today.” “Matt Lauer has a long term contract with NBC News and ‘Today.'” Interestingly, although the rumor mill is in overdrive, none of the moves other than Beck has been confirmed. What does all this mean? Well, such a big change at “Today” could significantly alter the morning show landscape. Indeed, one can only imagine the emails flying back and forth at “Good Morning America.” As for the evening news, Couric’s departure, while not seismic, would offer the opportunity for CBS and other networks to continue to re-imagine the nighttime news for the 21st century – ironically something Couric helped pioneer when she took her reporting to the Web on “@Katiecouric“. “Entertainment Tonight” promises more reporting on tonight’s episode.

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