Who should replace Meredith Vieira? Rachel Maddow? Megyn Kelly? What about...

First, I hope Meredith Vieira doesn’t leave the Today show — she’s intelligent and funny and can handle every sort of segment, a tricky skill. Still, if the reports are true about her exit when her contract is up in September, her replacement will be crucial to the Today show’s ratings, as well as the chemistry with her coanchor Matt Lauer. With that in mind, let’s pick some possibilities:

Rachel Maddow She works for the same network, and heaven knows this MSNBC host is smart enough, and funny enough, to handle both breaking news and, say, cooking segments (Maddow has already proved to be an excellent cocktail-maker). But, as a serious commentator, would she want to do this kind of broadcast? And would America take this proud liberal into its collective heart?

Megyn Kelly Here’s an intriguing left-field, right-wing idea. Kelly, a popular Fox News Channel host who already does two hours of daily news with articulate ease and the wits of the lawyer she trained to be, would certainly bring new eyeballs to The Today Show. But would she suffer the same sexist fate as Deborah Norville (1990-91), and just be perceived as A Pretty Face? And would America take this proud conservative into its collective heart?

Chelsea Handler This is only if NBC wants to turn the first hours of the Today show into an even loopier version of the part that Kathie Lee and Hoda host. (“Vodka Vednesdays,” anyone?) I’d hate to see how she’d manage to report an international crisis, but just watching Matt Lauer’s appalled reactions might make many mornings amusing.

Melissa Harris-Perry Who? This Princeton professor is a frequent commentator on current events and national news on a variety of shows. She always radiates fresh ideas in a sharp, well-reasoned manner. She’d be the first woman of color as a permanent host, and possesses a sparky sense of humor. Think outside the box, NBC!

Joy Behar And you thought I’d suggest Elisabeth Hasselbeck, didn’t you? Naw. Behar would be kinda groundbreaking: a middle-aged woman with both a sense of humor and an inclination for seriousness. She could get a lot of fast pointers from her View mentor, Barbara Walters.

Candy Crowley The CNN host and reporter is quick, an incisive interviewer, and has as solid a rep as an objective TV journalist as anyone can have in this business. Plus, she’s got a sense of humor that doesn’t get much of a showcase in her straight-news reporting; the Today show might be a good fit.

Who do you think might make a good Vieira replacement, should it come to this?

Twitter: @kentucker

For more: Will Meredith Viera leave ‘Today’?


Comments (285 total) Add your comment
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  • Anne

    Ann Curry.

    • Jess

      I agree-I think Ann would do wonderfully. I’ve always wondered if Meredith (who is also good) was flown in over her head or if they offered it to Ann first and she turned it down.

      • Adam

        Nah, I prefer they bring back Jane Pauley or even Katie Couric. If they want to go younger, pluck someone unknown

      • halo

        Rachel Ray FTW

      • GTY

        Ann…..NO// if you do not aree with her views…watch out.

    • jrs

      I like Ann, but am always bothered by the tone she takes in a lot of her interviews. She gets this quasi-sympathetic, sad tone and a furrow in her brow when the subject gets serious. It seems very affected, because then she moves on back with her happy-voice and a smaile. It just doesn’t seem very “interview-professional”.

      • IMHO

        Bull’s Eye!! Ann makes me feels like I’m 8 yrs old and I’m being told how I should FEEL!! As to the others, well, I only know who 2 of them are, and if either one is selected I’ll remove the Today Show channel from my TV!!! Keep looking NBC, please!!!

      • MaryJane

        Bring back Katie, she’s leaving CBS anyway, and she’d fit right in. I also love Rachel Maddow, but keep her where she is, I’d miss seeing her telling it like it is on her show, she and Lawrence O’Donnell go where no other commentators will go on tv, and hits it right on the nose.

      • akdjfka

        jrs, your points are right on the money. And MaryJane, I don’t think Katie would ever want to go back to the morning routine. And it was also take AT LEAST $25 million a year to get her. (NBC’s profit is about $450 a year for the show.)

      • akdjfka

        Uh, make that $450 millions, not $450. Ha ha.

      • Randi

        Totally!

      • Samsara

        Yes, jrs! I couldn’t agree more. Not only does she talk down to people but it takes her 5 minutes to spit out a question. It annoys me to NO END. I like Erin Burnett – she’s very comfortable on screen and has good chemistry with everyone. I also like Tamron Hall. I do NOT like Savannah Guthrie or Jenna Wolf.

      • McGillM

        Bingo! on the Ann comments. I turn the volume down or the channel completely when she is slated to interview anyone. Her style is just TOO….(insert any emoticon).

    • Daniel

      Seconded–Was hoping for Ann when Katie left, but I grew to love Mer. Time for Ann–she’s proven herself capable.

    • Ann’s Time

      Ann Curry! Finally give the lady her due!

    • Pop Vulture

      Absolutely NOT Ann Curry. She does not interview, she states her own opinion, and then adds, “Right?” at the end. I’ve heard one guest pause awkwardly at the end of one of her monologues and ask, “Was there a question there?” (Answer: no.) I love Ann behind the news desk, but she cannot let other people express their experiences without slathering HER impressions of what they “must have experienced” all over it.

      • Cathy

        I could not agree more. I can handle Ann behind the desk. Please don’t make her the co-host. Otherwise, I’ll have to start watching another morning show.

      • Jenny

        I agree. Ann is the worst!

      • Kelly

        Ann Curry as the newsreader. Fine. But as a host? No way. Her personality just isn’t suited to that job.

      • pharp

        AGREE AGREE AGREE – plus, she talks too fast. I think she is best suited as a news reader.

      • swede700

        Isn’t that exactly what Meredith does now? Unfortunately, I have to disagree with all of you that are criticizing Ann. Next to Matt Lauer, she’s probably the best journalist of the group. Meredith is absolutely brutal in interview situations (ala Trump interview the other day), so the sooner she leaves the better. She can’t ask a legitimate question for the life of her. However, my guess as to replacing Meredith would clearly be one of these options: Natalie Morales, Amy Robach, or Erin Burnett. They could also potentially bring back Campbell Brown.

    • JMB

      NO, NO, NO, a thousand times NOOOOO!! Curry is the weakest link on the show. Terrible tone in her stories and interviews, the false sympathy/empathy. Can’t stand her. If she took a bigger role I’d have to say good-bye to Matt and Al. I hope NBC pays attention to the populace before making that knee-jerk reaction.

      • SCO

        COMPLETELY agree with JMB, cannot stand the false, syrupy, faux sympathatic tone Ann uses. She is not a team player. I, too, will leave NBC early in the morning if she is chosen, I left when they put Kathy Lee with poor Hoda on the later segment.

      • akdjfka

        Totally agree with you JMB. I’m sure Ann is a very nice person, but she definitely comes across as fake or phony on the air. Meredith is top-notch… very relaxed, down-to-earth and knowledgable. And she can handle any type of interview very well… entertainment, politics, human interest, cooking, anything.

      • akdjfka

        …AND she has a great sense of humor. Very likable and funny.

      • Haley

        I agree. If it’s Ann I will stop watching also. Don’t care for her way.

    • Roger

      Anyone but Megyn Kelly. She is a mean, shrill woman.

      • ks

        She is! I don’t know what happened. I used to enjoy her but not anymore

      • Jen

        Agreed 1000X over. She is an i d i o t. The Daily Show has caught her half a s s e d reporting…i.e., lying. She is a disgrace to those that purport real journalism.

      • Red

        Megyn Kelly, a clever & gorgeous attorney, certainly is smart enough for the job. And she’s capable of doing a tough interview with ANYone. I’ve never liked her clipped delivery, though — it’s just kind of stilted and abrupt.

      • Elliott

        I don’t know why Ken would imply that it’s somehow sexist to not like Megyn Kelly. She’s one of those uniquely right wing personalities (like Beck, Palin, etc.) who pulls off the difficult task of being both incredibly dim-witted and incredibly condescending at the same time. I imagine most viewers don’t like to be patronized by an brain-dead talking head. Obviously, Kelly’s viewers don’t have the cognitive power to be offended.

      • Cat

        Yes!!
        Kelly is one of the most classless women on TV. A disgrace to real journalism. Her and Fox” News” deserve each other.

      • halo

        You do realize that’s she’s pregnant, might explain the shrill thing.
        Rachel Ray would be perfect. Energetic, fun, has a talk show so she have interview skills. I think she would be a perfect candidate.

    • deedee

      UGH!! Ann Curry? She is the weakest part of that show, I cannot stand her! I have watched the Today show for years, but if she moved next to Matt,it would be an easy reason to watch GMA

      • Jitterbug3

        Totally agree–if they give it to Ann Curry, I would stop watching altogther–as it is, when Meredith or Matt is out and they bring Ann in, I turn it off!

      • RJ

        A sock puppet would do a better job than Ann!

    • shinely

      o My friends told me about — Meet’ri`ches .C0- M —–told It’s the be’st pl’ace to me’et Milli’onaire si’ngles. It is the first and best club for wealthy people and their admirers. D’ating CEOs, professional athletes, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, professional models and cheerleaders, and even Hollywood celebrities is an easy experience there…you don’t have to be rich ,but you can meet one there.
      nice experience——-

    • NoAnneFan

      Not!!! Anne can’t remain professional during an emotional interview and she’s over the top. Let her read the news, she’s qualified for that. I cringe when she tries to show simpathy for someone. It’s sickening.

  • DC

    I don’t think Ann Curry would take the job if it curtailed her travel. She seems to love those dangerous assignments in foreign countries.

    I know that Ken’s sort of half-joking here, but if either Chelsea Handler or Joy Behar takes the job, it’ll be so long to handsome Matt Lauer for me! No way could I watch either of those ladies on a daily basis. The only worse outcome would be if NBC mines the Celebrity Apprentice and picks Miss Warmth herself, Star Jones, for the post (and yes, I am kidding… I think… although NBC has done stranger things in the past!).

  • Elizabeth

    Katie Couric

    Seriously – Megyn Kelly? Slap yourself, Ken.

    • Uh yeah

      why? Megyn Kelly is wonderful

      • Donknottz

        If you are a tea party wackjob you may think she’s wonderful

      • Well…

        I find Megyn Kelly to be WAY too condescending for the Today show.

        And besides… she spells her own name wrong.

      • Rach

        I’m not a big Megyn Kelly fan, but my husband is, so she’s on in my house a lot. She’s actually VERY critical of the Tea Party.

      • Kate

        “If you are a tea party wackjob you may think she’s wonderful”

        Bitter much?

      • Cat

        wonderfully stupid

      • Gary Taphouse

        Not. She’s a nutty teabagger.

    • Lisa Simpson

      I agree, bring back Katie Couric. And Megyn Kelly is always (and rightfully) the butt of jokes on The Daily Show, so her journalistic credibility is pretty much non-existent.

      • Red

        Ooooh, she’s criticized by a liberal comedian — not a journalist, but he plays one on TV? By all means, shut her up!

      • JMR

        Ha. Typical liberal making their decisions based on the what they hear on the Daily Show.

    • miss k

      Oh god, not Megyn Kelly. I can’t stand that condescending look she gives to her interviewers when she doesn’t agree with them.

  • Jake

    You suggest MHP but I would dare say Melissa Harris-Lacewell is an even better candidate from the Princeton faculty.

    • JB

      Same woman, Jake. Melissa recently got married, hence the name-change.

  • Desert Cat

    Rachel Maddow is waaaaaay too intelligent and articulate for the likes of “The Today Show”. She would most certainly be a breath of fresh air, however. SHe’d totally class the joint up. :)

    • jmo

      Agreed! I love her but she’s right where she should be on TRM show.

    • robert

      Rachel Maddow is a total MORON! Anyone that thinks she is intelligent and articulate, has to be a total imbecile! She is totally unlikeable, and would put the TODAY show last in the morning show ratings!

      • Josh

        Just because you disagree with her doesn’t maker her ignorant. She’s actually quite well informed when it comes to the topics she discusses on her show. And please, explain to me how she is not articulate. Do you maybe need to refresh your memory as to the definition of that word? Hint-George W. is not articulate.

      • Scott

        You really don’t have to like her or agree with her conclusions, but there are such things as objective facts — and one such fact is that she is NOT a “moron.” She is a friggin RHODES SCHOLAR and has a doctorate in politics from OXFORD — In all probability, she is smarter than you, I, and everyone reading this put together. Not to be rude, but I’d love to know if Megyn Kelly, Bill O’Reilly or any other right wing Fox pundit has such impeccable educational credentials. Let me know if they do :) “Facts have a liberal bias!”

      • halo

        Bill O went to Harvard. Just sayin..

  • Donknottz

    Please don’t use that zombie line toting dress Megyn Kelly and an actual journalist such as Rachel Maddow.

    • Red

      Maddow is smart and articulate, but has absolutely no education or training as a journalist. (Look it up.)

  • Donknottz

    Please don’t use that zombie line toting dress Megyn Kelly and an actual journalist such as Rachel Maddow in the same sentence.

  • thecanimal

    The one with the biggest real breasts and thinnest waist.

    • Pat

      How about the one with the biggest stomach and smallest wee wee? Oh, that would be YOU, thecanimal.

      • you

        bawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwaaaaa good answer.

  • Sarah

    As much as I love Rachel Maddow, I hope she doesn’t even consider taking over Meredith’s job. She’s frankly too smart for the today show, and her talents would go to waste there.

    • Soap On A Rope

      Is it just me, or does Rachel Maddow look like a man. She just dosen’t come across as a woman.

      • 3reddogs

        Well DUH … she’s openly gay and has been for years.

      • dlauthor

        Is it just me, or does Soap on a Rope look like something a gargoyle vomited onto a compost heap? He just doesn’t come across as human.

      • robert

        What the hell does being gay, have to do with looking like a man? Are you, 3reddogs, trying to say that all lesbians look like men? Again, a liberal ass trying to defend the gay, but only shows how bigoted they are anyway! Moron!

      • Bob

        Not that I’m trying to defend Soap on a Rope’s comment, but here are Rachel’s own words (from 2008):

        “Maddow, who has not owned a TV since 1990, tries to limit her exposure to online and print criticism of herself. If and when she lands her own berth, and with it a nightly viewership unused to seeing a brainy lesbian with rock-solid expertise on military policy or the IAVA, that will become more difficult. She already bristles slightly when talking about how she gets all the girl questions. “I love the idea that I am the voice of woman,” she says, gesturing at her T-shirt, baggy jeans and Red Sox cap. “Look at me. It’s like: really? The one woman in the room is really mannish.” In real life, as advertised on her website, Maddow dresses “like a first-grader” and hypothesizes that her mild androgyny might have greased her infiltration of boyworld punditry. “I look like a dude,” she says. Of course, for her television gigs, Maddow gets coiffed and painted and dressed up in what she calls “lady clothes” to fit a more traditional bill, a process she says she used to “resist and get angsty about,” but to which she has now surrendered.”

        http://www.thenation.com/article/rachel-maddows-life-and-career

      • Jen

        Who cares? If she is intelligent and can speak the truth…it’s volumes above many that report the news these days. Sexual orientation/looks should not come into play.

    • Veshay

      I agree, Rachel deserves better & greater rewards…after all Matt couldn’t handle it….

  • Lost in CA

    Please, Madcow? I would rather see someone who can actually report on news, not be a re-reporter and who has a grudge against everything. RM is better on Aljazeria.
    Respectfully

    • Donknottz

      AlJazera is a lot more reputable than FauxNews, Real creative by the way replacing the d with the c in maddow’s name. How did you ever come up with that ????

      • bahaha

        probably the same way you geniuses came up with FAUX NEWS. hahaha–idiot.

    • Yeah, Lost, cuz as we well know, The View is all about that hard-hitting news coverage. (eyeroll) And why would you bother signing your post “respectfully?” There’s absolutely nothing respectful about referring to a female with who you disgree a “cow.” Are you that threatened by a smart woman on TV?

    • Well…

      Maddow may have a grudge, but it’s for hypocrisy and lies. I don’t think she’s good for the Today show either, but it’s because she’s better at wringing humor out of terrible political situations. I’d rather her pointing out injustice than interviewing a girl with faux hiccups.

    • Pat

      “Aljazeria” lmao

  • Allen

    I kind of like the idea of Candy Crowley. She could definitely handle the tough interviews and I can see her loosening up enough for the lighter stuff. Can’t picture Maddow doing it. I love her, but she comes with a lot of political baggage. And yes, she’s more vaulable to television news where she is frankly. NO on Joy Behar. I enjoy her in small doses, but she is not articulate enough for 2 hours of morning tv.

    • h.h.

      Candy Crowley? Seriously? You actually think that she would be a good choice? Sorry, but she’s definitely WAY TOO HARSH on the eyes at 7AM. Need about 5 cups of coffee first.

  • Nicole

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Natalie Morales. I have really grown to like her.

    • Pop Vulture

      Agree!

    • SCO

      LOVE Natalie, she is articulate, can deliver serious news and is funny. I think she and Matt would be good together.

    • akdjfka

      Other articles have said that Natalie Morales is one of the leading contenders for the job. And some have said that Savannah Guthrie is actually the frontrunner among a lot of NBC people.

      • KB

        I agree – I think Natalie would be perfect. Much better than Anne, in my opinion.

        And I seriously, seriously dislike Savannah Guthrie. I really hope it’s not her.

  • granndpajoe

    TINA FEY – she would be great !
    But Meredith PLEEZE DON’T GO!:( – what about Katie Couric I hear she will be available :)

    • james

      LOVE this idea! TINA FEY!!! Yes!!!But on another note, Maddow??? Noooooo!!!!!
      I’m with you…please don’t go, Meredith!

      • akdjfka

        Keep dreaming. There is 0% chance that Tina would want the job. You’d have a better chance of getting Meryl Streep. ;)

  • Allen

    I also love Ann Curry, but she doesn’t quite have the sense of humor needed for the job. She’s fine doing what she does. When you think about it, it’s a tough assignment. Serious one minute, cooking segment the next, making jokes with Matt that are actually funny. Not an easy balance.

  • nlyn

    Why not Ann, she’s fantastic and should have been there instead of Meredith. I also really like Campbell Brown, but don’t know if she’d go back to NBC.

    • murphs

      Campbell Brown would be a good choice, but yes, don’t know if she’d go back to nbc, which she was very good being on the weekend news w/Lester Holt.

    • bootsycolumbia

      NBC blew it big time by not offering the co-anchor spot to Campbell Brown when Katie left. I thought and still think she’s the obvious choice for the job–she’s very smart, attractive, and has a great sense of humor. If by some miracle she comes back, I’d definitely start watching the show again.

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