NBC is close to completing a deal with Meredith Vieira, co-host of ABC's The View, to replace Katie Couric on Today, the New York Times reported today (Tuesday), citing a person close to the negotiations. NBC has reportedly offered Vieira a four-year contract worth at least $10 million a year. It had reportedly been paying Couric about $16 million a year, making her the highest-paid television news personality. A possible sticking point is the fact that Vieira also has two years remaining on her contract to host the syndicated game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, produced by Disney's Buena Vista Television. The Times quoted its source as saying that NBC had not ruled out permitting Vieira to appear on Today and Millionaire concurrently. Meanwhile, the TVNewser blog today printed excerpts of an interview that appeared in the Rocky Mountain News in September 2002 in which Vieira remarked that after the 9/11 attack, she realized that she no longer wanted to cover hard news. "I had left the set of The View. But instead of wanting to go to ground zero, every piece of me wanted to go home to my husband and children. The desire to cover the story didn't exist," she said. She also added that she had turned down an offer to co-host CBS's The Early Show, adding, "I'm not that much of an early morning person, anyway."




05/04/2006