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Is NBC replacing Matt Lauer with Anderson Cooper

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photo courtesy of mroach via flickrIt seemed impossible, but the drama at NBC’s “Today” show just keeps on percolating.

In the latest media leak, it now appears that after the Anne Curry episode (where she was sacked as Lauer’s co-anchor, supposedly at his strong recommendation to NBC’s brass), NBC approached Anderson Cooper to replace him. According to a Deadline.com story, NBC executives wanted the CNN anchor to take over Lauer’s Today gig by the end of this year. By the way, did we mention Lauer, recently signed a $25 million a year deal that will keep him on “Today” for at least another year?

The story gets even more interesting because now it appears that while discussing the opportunity with Cooper, NBC reportedly asked Lauer for his blessing. This of course, greatly irritated The Today front man, who called Cooper directly and made that known. The phone call apparently caught Cooper by complete surprise because he obviously thought NBC had communicated with Lauer prior to contacting him. Oh, what a tangled web …

Cooper is currently under contract with CNN but reportedly has a clause that allows him to work on CBS’ “60 Minutes” and host his soon to be ending daytime talk show.  Having been busted, NBC executives now do not deny approaching Cooper but have now said he will not be replacing Lauer. “As we’ve said before, Matt Lauer is the best in the business. We want him in the Today show anchor chair for many years to come,” Alexandra Wallace, NBC News’ senior vice president proclaimed.

This latest drama is just another in the long saga of fun and adventure that began with the Curry debacle and it looks like it may not be over yet.

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