NBC must be kicking itself for giving Matt Lauer a $25 million-a-year contract. Top NBC executives recently approached Anderson Cooper about taking the embattled Today host's job this year, anonymous sources tell Deadline. Separately, they reached out to Lauer to get his blessing for the swap—but Lauer didn't grant it. Instead, he called Cooper to express his displeasure, shocking the CNN personality, who thought Lauer was open to the move. Or at least, that's Deadline's version. Sources close to Lauer tell TMZ he'd be fine with the move; the gossip site reports the switch would happen "not immediately but at some point."
The story hits in the wake of a New York piece that breathed new life into the Lauer-Ann Curry controversy. The piece depicts Lauer as thoroughly "miserable" and "disgruntled" next to ex-co-host Curry. "He simply didn’t like her," and it showed. Lauer was flirting with bolting to ABC when network executives decided to replace Curry, the article explains, a decision they made in part because they knew Lauer was so sour on her. Click for more woes with NBC's talent.