Monday, December 31, 2012

Ann Curry seeking way out of NBC contract

Ann Curry, who was ousted from "Today," but was given a special assignment as the National and International Correspondent/Anchor for NBC News and the Anchor at Large for the Today show, wants completely out of NBC News, according to a Monday report. Curry apparently wants to move to CNN, where her former boss, Jeff Zucker, will take over the reins of the now struggling news channel in February.

A source close to the situation said:
Ann wants out of her contract, big time. She has formally asked her attorney to explore exit options from the network. However, NBC bosses have indicated they are unwilling to release Ann from the contract. 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.

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. 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.
Curry was ousted from "Today" after the daytime show's ratings flagged. However, since her departure, things have not improved significantly. In fact, ratings have dropped further, allowing ABC’s rival "Good Morning America" to capture the no 1 spot, and with Curry gone, Matt Lauer has become the whipping boy on the show.

The insider added that the continued fall in "Today's" ratings have:
... vindicated Ann Curry, because the numbers just don't lie. She wasn't responsible for the show tanking in the ratings. 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.
It would seem, though, that a Curry move to CNN would benefit that network, but certainly wouldn't help NBC at all. It's unclear, in fact, what NBC can do to stop the bleeding at "Today."

Meanwhile, it's said that Zucker wants to install Curry in the network's 8 p.m. slot, currently occupied by Anderson Cooper.

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