Ann Curry is begging NBC bosses to let her out of her contract so she can accept a high-profile anchor job at CNN.
Curry is reportedly earmarked for Anderson Cooper's coveted 8pm slot at the rival TV station by her former Today show boss, Jeff Zucker, who will take over as president of CNN Worldwide in February.
If she quits without the green light from NBC, a clause in her contract bans her from working for any other news outlet.
'Ann wants out of her contract, big time,' a source close to the situation told RadarOnline. 'She has formally asked her attorney to explore exit options from the network.'
But the website claims NBC bosses are unwilling to release Curry without a fight.
'If Ann were to just quit, there is a non-compete clause, which would prohibit her from working for another news outlet for two years,' the insider said.
Zucker, previously executive producer at the Today show and one-time head of NBC Universal, wants to put Curry in the prime-time 8pm slot currently occupied by Anderson Cooper, RadarOnline reported.
Curry's lawyers are arguing that her dramatic demotion from Today in April was in fact a breach of her contract terms by NBC.
'Ann's lawyer feels that there is a very strong case to be made that NBC has breached terms of the deal because Curry was demoted from Today,' the source told RadarOnline.
'Furthermore, Ann has basically been sequestered from appearing on the network. Yes, she has been doing some work that has been assigned to her, but it hasn't been steady.'
Today is set to finish the year trailing its rival Good Morning America. Curry was dumped as co-anchor of the NBC morning show after Today lost its top spot, as bosses thought a fresh face may bring back viewers.
But the depressing ratings got worse, something which has vindicated Curry, according to RadarOnline. The website claims things won't improve for Today until NBC sets Curry free.
'The numbers just don't lie. (Ann) wasn't responsible for the show tanking in the ratings,' the insider said. 'Ann doesn't like the fact that the show isn't back on top, but her on-air presence wasn't the problem.
'In fact, the show lost more viewers after Ann departed the show. As long as Ann remains at NBC, it will be a constant reminder to everyone of how badly the situation was handled.
'It would be so much better for NBC, Ann, and CNN if she was let out of her contract. It would be a new beginning and a chance for all parties involved to move on, once and for all.'
A source recently told The New York Post that Cooper could transition to a 'Christiane Amanpour role' as a globetrotting correspondent, if Curry bumped him from his spot.
I suggest we call this situation FREE CURRY because it's to the point and sounds delicious.