You might soon be waking up with new faces if you’re a Today show devotee. In a quest to beat rival Good Morning America‘s ratings, NBC is shaking things up at the morning show.
Co-hosts Willie Geist and Natalie Morales “were recently told they were fired,” an NBC source reveals exclusively in the new issue of Us Weekly. Morales, 42, is now in talks with ABC and Geist, 39, has lined up a gig at CBS, the insider tells Us.
But soon after those radical cuts were made, NBC removed general manager Jamie Horowitz, the most vocal proponent of the changes. In a memo obtained by Us Weekly, NBC News’ Deborah Turness explained Horowitz — on the job since September — was simply “not the right fit.” Now it’s unclear whether Geist and Morales will indeed be exiting or whether the current regime will try to woo them back.
The insider adds that there are other ideas “floating around” as well, including demoting fellow co-host Tamron Hall back to MSNBC and adding Good Morning America alum Josh Elliott as a newsreader. Hoda Kotb, who currently owns the 10 a.m. hour with Kathie Lee Gifford, might also be asked to join the 9 a.m. hour.
A separate source, however, tells Us that these proposals may never come to fruition. “An executive went rogue and got fired for suggesting crazy ideas no one agreed with,” the source explains of the situation overall.
A rep for the Today show also denies the shake-up and tells Us in a statement, “NBC’s Today has the best anchor team in morning television. The entire Today show anchor team — Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, Carson Daly, Tamron Hall, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Hoda Kotb — are incredibly talented, valued and have our support. In response to the false rumors that have been circulated about our anchor team, NBC wants to be absolutely clear: The rumors are wrong — period. This is the team we are committed to. And this is the team that our viewers turn to in the morning.”
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