NBC Denies Anderson Cooper is Taking Matt Lauer's Job
The Hollywood Reporter -- NBC's Today show is topic A in media gossip circles. And a report Tuesday about CNN's Anderson Cooper as the latest heir apparent to Matt Lauer spawned dozens of breathless blog posts about Lauer's future with the show.
True, NBC executives and sources close to Anderson Cooper say the network did reach out to silver-haired CNN correspondent. But he is not in line to replace Lauer.
According to an NBC executive, the network has "exploratory talks with talent inside and outside of the network. But to read anything specific into that is presumptuous."
STORY: Inside the 'Today' Show Drama: 12 Revelations About the Matt Lauer-Ann Curry Debacle
Furthermore, sources close to Cooper say he is not interested in trading globetrotting for 4 a.m. wake up calls. And NBC News senior vp Alexandra Wallace told THR in a statement: "As we've said before, Matt Lauer is the best in the business. We want him in the Today show anchor chair for many years to come."
Lauer last year signed a long-term deal with NBC News that keeps him there until 2015. And sources close to both men deny that Lauer ever contacted Cooper to register disapproval over any talks.
STORY: Matt Lauer Criticizes NBC Over Ann Curry's 'Today' Exit
Cooper is currently under contract to CNN and also is a correspondent at the CBS News program 60 Minutes. He recently told THR that he expects new CNN chief Jeff Zucker to keep his program, Anderson Cooper 360 in its 8 p.m. time slot, though the 10 p.m. repeat is likely to go away. And he praised Zucker's in-the-trenches leadership style.
"[To] have somebody with Jeff's experience not only as an executive and a manager, but as somebody whose sleeves are rolled up and has experience producing news programs, is fantastic," said Cooper. "I'm in constant discussions with Jeff, emails going back and forth, and it's really dynamic and it's really exciting to be here at this time."
Related article on THR.com:
Madonna Joins GLAAD Media Awards to Present Anderson Cooper With Award
_ _ _ _
Find more online: THR.com
Fergie, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Heidi Klum all get an F on this week's Fashion Offenders.Watch Video »
Diva Double Date
Beyonce and Alicia Keys double date with their famous hubbies on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Where Are They?
See what the cast of "American Beauty" is up to today.Watch Video »
J.Lo's Mini Me
Jennifer Lopez shares an adorable photo of her look-alike daughter, plus more celebritots on social media on today's Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »
Prince Harry, Jessica Alba and more stars who threw out the first pitch at baseball games.Watch Video »
Sofia Vergara poses in a revealing neon bikini while her "Modern Family" castmates hit the beach in Australia on Celebs Gone Social.Watch Video »