Anderson Cooper has been in the news an awful lot lately. The CNN personality and sometime-New Years Eve party host is being considered for a new CNN program which Cooper would co-host alongside Kathy Griffin. However, Cooper apparently has a loophole in his contract that would allow him to take a position at another network... and other networks are very interested.
The latest network to try to snap up the popular personality is NBC, who reportedly approached Cooper about taking over 'Today' and replacing longtime host Matt Lauer. Lauer has been under fire of late for helping to oust his former 'Today' co-host Ann Curry; couple this with the decline of 'Today' ratings (along with the decline of NBC's ratings in general) and it would seem that Lauer's head is on the chopping block. With that in mind, NBC has reached out to Cooper to guage his interest in taking the 'Today' position.
Here's the problem: NBC didn't tell Matt Lauer of their plans. The brass reached out to the beleagured 'Today' host after they had already been in contact with Cooper, causing Lauer to react negatively and even call Cooper personally to express his displeasure at the backdoor dealing. Deadline reports that the call came as a surprise to Cooper, who was under the impression that Lauer was aware of NBC's plan to replace him. This is not the first time that NBC executives have executed under-the-table deals to pull the rug out from under their television personalities--need I remind us of the Conan O'Brien controversy?
All of this nastiness is even stranger when you consider that Cooper and Lauer are both on the short-list of possible replacements for Alex Trebek, longtime host of the game show 'Jeopardy!.' Could the loser of the 'Today' battle gain 'Jeopardy!' as a result?