After abruptly firing Today co-host Matt Lauer, NBC executives are now faced with the unenviable task of finding his replacement.
There are several possible candidates making the rounds on social and mainstream media outlets. Among them: the network’s new hire and former Fox News mainstay Megyn Kelly, former Today regular Ann Curry, Sunday Today anchor Willie Geist and The Voice host Carson Daily.
Kelly joined the peacock network earlier this year, but has experienced sagging ratings in her 9 a.m. time slot. “This one does hit close to home,” she told viewers Wednesday, hours after Lauer’s dismissal was announced. “I too have known Matt for a long time and he has been a friend,” she said.
She also mentioned those who have accused the 20-year Today star Lauer of sexual harassment.
“I am thinking of those women this morning and hoping they are OK,” she said. “The days to come will not be easy.”
They most certainly won’t be easy for network bigwigs as they choose a successor to the once hugely popular anchor.
The internet is buzzing with speculation that NBC might bring back Curry, whose tearful 2012 departure prompted a backlash against the network by her fans. Her ouster was reportedly caused by Lauer’s dislike of his co-anchor.
Her supporters have taken to Twitter to lobby for her return to the Today bench.
Geist, the co-anchor of MSNBC’s Morning Joe and the host of Sunday Today is another rumored possibility. He has frequently filled in for Lauer and is a known entity to the network and its fans.
Daly is already a Today contributor, as well as a host on prime-time television’s singing competition, The Voice. He has an established fan base, but TV pundits say it is doubtful NBC would give him Lauer’s seat because he is not a veteran broadcast journalist.