Curry for Couric sign now

We demand that NBC and the "Today" Show announce immediately Ann Curry as Katie Couric's successor. We the fans of the "Today" Show know the show will continue in success with Ann at the helm along side Matt Lauer.

We the fans of the "Today" show do, however, request that Katie Couric stay at her morning home with NBC. We ask Katie that she not move to the night time position as we adore her in the morning time slot. We ask that she consider her fans and not a million or two dollars for her move. We also would like her to know that she already has recieved our unwavering respect and being the highest paid in any field is really moot since she is the best in her field.

We realize that Katie may move on with her career, and DEMAND Ann be placed as her replacement.

Please visit our website at http://www.curryforcouric.com.

Email us at [email protected]


THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE WAS IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ON MARCH 20TH:

NBC Contemplates
'Today' Without Couric

By BROOKS BARNES
March 20, 2006; Page B1

With Katie Couric just weeks away from saying whether she will stay at NBC's "Today" show or bolt for a rival network, NBC is making plans aimed at keeping the highly profitable program on track if she does leave.

Ms. Couric's departure from "Today," which she has co-hosted for 15 years, could topple a line of dominoes that would be difficult to reset. First, there is the decision on her successor: If internal up-and-comers are passed over in favor of an outsider, they will probably leave, creating new problems for the network.

Then there is the other seat on the couch. If Ms. Couric decamps -- most likely to CBS Corp.'s CBS for a job anchoring the "Evening News" -- her co-host, Matt Lauer, 48, will have a huge bargaining chip when his contract expires in early 2008. One star leaving "Today" is one thing; both hosts leaving in quick succession presents NBC, already in crisis mode with its troubled prime-time schedule, with a nightmare scenario.

So far, Ms. Couric, 49 years old, hasn't indicated which way she is leaning, and she declined to comment for this article. Mr. Lauer and a spokeswoman for NBC News also declined to comment. NBC is a unit of General Electric Co.

CBS has offered Ms. Couric about $15 million a year to take over Dan Rather's anchor chair at the 30-minute "Evening News" and to contribute to "60 Minutes," according to people familiar with the situation. NBC, which pays Ms. Couric north of $16 million a year to host the three-hour "Today" show, has offered a raise and other perks, such as specials. Despite the lower paycheck, the CBS anchor job is more prestigious, and it would be less onerous than the marathon "Today" broadcast, where her duties require her to get up before dawn.

Under a contract that expires in late May, Ms. Couric is prohibited from negotiating with other parties until May 1, although her representatives aren't as restricted. As a result, an announcement of her plans could come just before the annual "upfront" marketplace, in mid-May, when TV networks secure billions of dollars in advertising commitments for the following season. NBC will have to scramble to convince advertisers that "Today" is stable. The show generated some $600 million in ad sales last year and about $250 million in profit.

Whether she stays or goes, NBC wants the matter resolved before it shows its fall program lineup to advertisers on May 15. To speed up her decision, NBC is considering releasing her from the May 1 negotiation restriction, people familiar with the matter say.

NBC has narrowed the list of Ms. Couric's potential successors to three names, according to people familiar with the matter: Campbell Brown, the 37-year-old host of "Weekend Today," who has made her name as a hard-nosed reporter; Natalie Morales, 33, currently appearing on "Today" in its third hour; and Meredith Vieira, 52, the Emmy-winning co-host of "The View" on Walt Disney Co.'s ABC. Ann Curry, the 49-year-old "Today" news anchor and "Dateline" host, is a backup candidate.

Ms. Brown has star wattage, but NBC worries her hard-news bent wouldn't fit well with the fluffy segments that are the "Today" show's bread and butter. Ms. Morales, a candidate who has been rising in popularity with NBC executives in recent weeks because of positive viewer response to her "Today" tryout, has the opposite liability: She has "warmth," but not much experience reporting from the field or grilling grouchy politicians.

NBC considers Ms. Vieira, on the other hand, to have the whole package. A former correspondent for "60 Minutes," she is an experienced newswoman who also is a household name with the "Today" show's target audience of 25- to 54-year-old women. Landing her may be another matter, though: Ms. Vieira has turned down morning-show jobs in the past and has told friends she worries what effect the grueling "Today" schedule would have on her family, which includes three teenagers. Ms. Brown, Ms. Morales and Ms. Vieira declined to comment.

TV shows are delicate enterprises that can fall apart after only the slightest tremor, and "Today" is no exception. Last spring, its ratings suddenly started to plummet, and ABC's "Good Morning America" came within just 45,000 viewers of beating it. NBC said the show had grown sloppy and brought in new management. "Imagine the trouble that Katie leaving could cause," says Bob Thompson, director of Syracuse University's Center for the Study of Popular Television.

NBC can't afford for "Today" to skip a beat. Aside from the dent that ratings troubles would put in its bottom line, NBC relies heavily on "Today" to promote its prime-time shows and programming on Sci-Fi and Bravo, its sister cable networks. On a recent morning, for instance, "Today" featured a long segment on the winner of "Project Runway," Bravo's runaway hit about fashion designers.

NBC has experience in how -- and how not -- to make an anchor transition at "Today." Bryant Gumbel smoothly handed the baton to Mr. Lauer in 1997. But in a textbook case of bungling, NBC's 1991 replacement of Jane Pauley with Deborah Norville set off a ratings plunge. NBC quickly dumped Ms. Norville and installed Ms. Couric, who was little-known then. NBC thinks "Today" is strong enough to handle a few bumps. After nearly losing the ratings race to "Good Morning America" last May, "Today" has developed a wide lead. Last week, it attracted an average of 6.2 million viewers, about 800,000 more than its rival.

"Good Morning America" is going through its own transition. Charlie Gibson, who co-hosts the program with Diane Sawyer, is expected to move to "World News Tonight," people familiar with the matter say. Mr. Gibson would be filling in for Bob Woodruff, who was severely injured in January while reporting in Iraq. Mr. Woodruff is improving -- he is talking and walking although still receiving treatment at a private medical facility -- but ABC executives don't expect him to return anytime soon, if ever.

CBS, meanwhile, remains in hot pursuit of Ms. Couric despite speculation that it could decide to stick with Bob Schieffer, the 69-year-old newsman who has been anchoring the "Evening News" on a temporary basis. Mr. Schieffer has garnered surprisingly strong ratings: Although "Evening News" remains the clear No. 3, it has increased its audience by 2\% since September, while its NBC and ABC counterparts have lost ground.

CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves sees hiring Ms. Couric as a way not only to lift the "Evening News" ratings even more, people close to him say, but also to shore up other parts of the news division, including "The Early Show," which lags far behind its morning rivals. Mr. Moonves gained oversight of CBS News in April 1998, and overhauling it is the one missing piece of an otherwise successful turnaround of the CBS network.

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Ericka DuncanBy:
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NBC, Katie Couric and Ann Curry

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