Meredith Vieira is expected to leave NBC's Today when her current contract expires later this year, according to a source familiar with her plans.
Vieira has been in discussions with NBC News executives for several months about extending her deal, which is up in September. But the co-anchor is said to be weary of the demanding early morning hours and is ready to move on. Vieira has often said that the health of her husband, who has battled multiple sclerosis and cancer, will be a factor in considering her future on the program.
The network is not giving up hope that a deal can be reached. "NBC is doing everything they can to convince her to stay," says one person with knowledge of the discussions. One network insider noted that Vieira is beloved by the Today staff and crew, as well as NBC News management. Officially, the network said in a statement: "The Today show anchors are currently under contract and firmly in place."
NBC News insiders say if Vieira does leave, Today news anchor Ann Curry is the leading candidate to join Matt Lauer as co-anchor of the program.