The pair "think they have great chemistry," an insider says. Lauer could use a fresh start. Continues the insider: "He knows people blame him for TODAY's problems," namely a drop to No. 2 behind Good Morning America and the bad PR associated with Ann Curry's 2012 ouster.
The newsman, 55, first considered leaving NBC to join Couric, 56, in 2011 while renegotiating his contract. ("There were preliminary discussions," a Couric source counters, "but a collaboration just doesn't make sense now." A Lauer source adds, "There is absolutely no truth to this.")
Lauer's $25 million deal is up in 2014, which presents another hurdle: how to pay him a comparable salary. A second insider says Disney-ABC has an incentive: "They want to re-create that old magic."
For more details on Lauer and Couric's possible reunion, watch this week's Hot Stuff video, as explained by Us Weekly's Deputy Editor Online Justin Ravitz and special guest, "I'm a Star" singer Chrisette Michele.