So bitter is the rivalry between morning shows “Today” and “Good Morning America”Â thatÂ NBC’s Ann Curry was forbidden from publicly reaching out toÂ ABC’sÂ Robin Roberts after the 52-year-oldÂ was diagnosed with bone marrow disease in June 2012.
According to aÂ New York MagazineÂ expose by reporterÂ Joe Hagan, which details Curry’s ousting, tensions reached an all-time high as execs begun to phase the co-anchor out of theÂ ”Today” show.
“Ann Curry was gone but not gone, which created a situation of spectacular awkwardness,” Hagan writes. “Any trust that had existed between Curry and Today was shattered. When Robin Roberts left Good Morning AmericaÂ a month later to get treatment for MDS, Curry asked NBC if she could tweet a note of sympathy for the ABC co-host. NBC said no, afraid she was trying to aid the enemy.”
Hagan also reveals that Lauer, now the target of hate since Curry’s departure,Â Â had been in talks with ABC to develop a new daytime talk show with his former co-anchor Katie Couric. ABC executives were said to be charmed by Lauer and excited about a potential partnership, but according to Hagan, the 55-year-old “surprised them all by calling and saying thanks but no thanks.”
Lauer then extended his contract with NBC, pocketing $25 million a year, and saidÂ he “cared about the show and staff.”
And despite “GMA” now leading the ratings war, Lauer is confidentÂ ”Today” will bounce back.
“I’m confident that the show we’re doing today is the one that will allow us to dig ourselves out of the hole,â he said.
That is, if he is around long enough to see it — there are reports he will not have his contract renewed when it is expires in 2014.
However, NBC News executive Alex Wallace, who oversees the show,Â recently dismissed the speculation, telling the New York Times:Â ”We are aware of all the ridiculous rumors and gossip. We would like Matt Lauer to beÂ in the chair as long as he would like to be. We hope thatâs for many years to come.â