Home Celebrity Alec Baldwin, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira All Want to Leave NBC

What the heck is going on over there at NBC? Is it just a coincidence, or do three major on air players know something we don’t? In the space of three days, Alec Baldwin told New York Magazine that “30 Rock” is “over” and that he’s leaving at the end of his contract; Meredith Vieira is reportedly exiting the “Today” show in the fall, when her contract is up; and now Matt Lauer is saying he’s gone from “Today” at the end of 2012.

All three work in New York, close to NBC’s new owner, Comcast, and its new chief, Steve Burke. Has each heard something from NBC’s new owner? Is it money related? Are these contract negotiations? NBC is already dealing with departing Steve Carell from “The Office.” The network doesn’t have a lot of key players besides these guys, Lorne Michaels, Jimmy Fallon, Brian Williams, and maybe the stars of “Law & Order: SVU.”

So what gives? Baldwin says he’s leaving “30 Rock,” but he is probably replaceable if done right. Lauer and Vieira are a different matter. While “30 Rock” is not a ratings hit, the “Today” show is the cornerstone of the network. To replace two co-hosts in a year’s time would be perilous at best. PS Just a thought–but is Lauer invoking a contract clause now so he can join Katie Couric in a “Regis and Kelly” kind of show? Hmmm….

Author
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
1 reply to this post
  1. I cant see Lauer mating his $16m a year in a Regis situation.

    Sad but true, NBC only has 2 scripted prime time ratings hits: Office & SVU 4 If you consider Biggest Loser & Apprentice.
    And the football.

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