As it turns out, Anderson Cooper and Matt Lauer may have in common more than the recently rumored “Jeopardy” association. Deadline has learned that NBC had reached out to Cooper to talk about the possibility of replacing Lauer on The Today Show.
In recent weeks, both the network and Lauer have been working hard to convince the world that everything is good with The Today Show and, as such, that he won’t be leaving anytime soon.
Deadline reports that this is just a front: NBC has been doing some scouting and pre-negotiations with possible replacements, Cooper being one of them.
“I hear NBC toppers recently reached out to CNN’s Anderson Cooper to replace Lauer on the show before the end of the year. After their initial approach to Cooper, I hear NBC reached out to Lauer to get his blessing about the changeover. But I heard they got pushback from the Today veteran, who contacted Cooper to express his disapproval,” the industry publication writes.
“I also hear that call caught Cooper by surprise, as he had assumed Lauer had been brought on board before NBC began making overtures. Cooper has been one of the leading faces at CNN, though I hear his contract has an out, and he previously was able to do his syndicated daytime talk show in addition to his CNN program,” adds the same media outlet.
Deadline wouldn’t say whether Cooper is feeling inclined to accept the offer but, either way, I want to know: would you tune in for The Today Show with him instead of Lauer as co-anchor?