‘View’ Targets Hoda Kotb As Possible Behar Replacement: Report

Hoda Kotb, seen on "The Today Show" last week (Photo: NBC)

The “Today” show’s Hoda Kotb has reportedly drawn the attention of ABC execs who are considering asking her to join “The View.”

Kotb, 48, co-hosts the fourth hour of NBC’s “Today Show” with Kathie Lee Gifford, and the two remain popular, even as the earlier hours of “Today” struggle to compete with top-rated “Good Morning America” on ABC.

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According to this story in the New York Post, ABC has already made contact with Kotb’s reps to see if she’s interested. The story doesn’t report Kotb’s reaction to the overture, which is nevertheless hotly denied in the story by an unnamed “ABC rep.” However, the story quotes another unnamed source as saying the interest is “very” real.

Specifically, Kotb is being eyed to replace Joy Behar, 70, who’s due to say good-bye to “The View” any day now after 16 years. As the story points out, hiring Kotb would give “The View” its first new co-host with a network news background since Meredith Vieira left the show. And when Barbara Walters retires after next season, the show will have no one with a news background, unless Hoda (or some other news personality) can be persuaded to come on board.

Watch last Friday’s episode of “The View,” with guest co-host Margaret Cho:
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One thing the Post story didn’t point out: Persistent rumors that Gifford wants to quit the fourth hour of “Today” and move to the West Coast to be closer to her now-grown children. The rumors flared up earlier this year, then died down. The story does quote an unnamed NBC source who insists that Kotb loves NBC too much to consider leaving.

Our take: This story puts Hoda in an enviable negotiating position with NBC if she wants to say with the network because interest from someone else, particularly a show that also happens to be a morning talk show, can be applied to driving up the price Kotb can demand for staying at NBC. And if NBC balks, she’ll still be paid handsomely to appear on “The View.”

Of course, Hoda could be one of several (if not many) candidates ABC is considering for the Behar spot on “The View.”

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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