News Exclusives: Vieira to Replace Katie? Woodruff In Bad Shape
2/6/2006 7:59 PM PT
Insiders directly connected with NBC News tell TMZ that Meredith Vieira is now first choice to replace Katie Couric if she leaves 'Today.'
There's also talk of expanding 'Today' to four hours. If that happens, TMZ is told that Campbell Brown, once the frontrunner to replace Katie, would anchor a portion of the program.
We're told currently there's a 70 percent chance that Katie will jump to CBS.
And get this -- NBC insiders say another name the network has kicked around is Kelly Ripa, though we're told she is currently not available.
Insiders tell TMZ Vieira currently pulls in more than $5 million for her work on 'The View' and 'Millionaire.'
Vieira, once a correspondent with '60 Minutes' left CBS because she did not want to work as hard as the job demanded. Vieira has three children and a husband who has health issues.
On another news front, TMZ is told that ABC anchor Bob Woodruff "is not doing well" and that he has "a long road ahead." Woodruff suffered serious head injuries as the result of an explosion in Iraq. ABC has made no plans to replace him.