At a press conference today discussing the pending anchor switchover on NBC’s Today triggered by the upcoming departure of Meredith Vieira, co-host Matt Lauer addressed speculation that he might join former Today cohort Katie Couric on her potential syndicated talk show. “We certainly spoke about the possibility, but we’ve talked about a lot of possibilities over the years,” Lauer said, according to press reports. “It turned into just talk. And that’s where we left it. It’s not going to happen.” Word is those overtures to Lauer infuriated NBC brass and led to the network pulling out of contention for the Couric talker. As for the rumors that one way or another Lauer may be leaving Today when his contract is up in December 2012 or even sooner, “I have a long-term deal with NBC News,” he said. “I’m going to be here for a while. You’re going to get sick of me.” Vieira also addressed rumors, this time that she was leaving Today to help her ailing husband, author Richard Cohen, who had been battling cancer and MS. “There’s so much speculation in the press: Poor Meredith with her invalid husband,” she said. “I want to set the record straight: My husband Richard is in good health, and that’s part of the reason I want to leave right now. I want to be there with him, and I want to have fun, and I want to appreciate our time together and not have to punch a clock so much.” Vieira’s June exit from Today was timed to coincide with two of her children graduating form high school and college, respectively, she said.
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