Things started to turn rotten last summer following Curry’s firing from the “Today” show, and subsequent “demotion” to NBC News national and international correspondent/anchor and “Today” anchor-at-large. (Photo : Reuters)
Former "Today" show co-host Ann Curry and NBC's relationship continues to sour: the network has banned Curry from doing live interviews, the New York Post first reported.
Things started to turn rotten last summer following Curry's firing from the "Today" show, and subsequent "demotion" to NBC News national and international correspondent/anchor and "Today" anchor-at-large. While she's been sporadically filing reports for NBC News shows like "Rock Center with Brian Williams," according to the Post, sources said the network has barred her from doing live interviews.
"There's growing friction because she's been pushing for live interviews, but NBC will only air her taped interviews, presumably so they can edit them," one source said.
The source continued, "Ann keeps bringing live interviews to the table. She has great relationships with celebrities" - including Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie - "who will only sit down with her."
Apparently, NBC execs weren't so amused by Curry's first live return to "Today" after her very public removal last August. When Matt Lauer attempted small talk, saying, "Nice to see you," she practically scowled in response.
Curry and NBC's relationship has been awkward ever since last summer when the network esstentially blamed her for the "Today" show's flagging ratings.
A representative for NBC has unsurprisingly dismissed the news as "gossip."
RadarOnline reported last month that Curry desperately wanted out of her contract with NBC so that she could accept an even more high-profile job from CNN.
Former NBC head, and Curry's former "Today" show boss, Jeff Zucker, apparently has his heart set on Curry to replace Anderson Cooper in his coveted 8 p.m. time slot. Zucker will take over as president for CNN in February. Curry is stuck in a quandary, though. If she leaves before her contract is up she is banned by a clause in the contract from working for any other news outlet for two years.
"Ann wants out of her contract, big time," a source close to the situation told RadarOnline. "She has formally asked her attorney to explore exit options from the network."
However, Curry's bosses at NBC are reportedly not ready to cut her loose, at least without a fight.
"If Ann were to just quit, there is a non-compete clause, which would prohibit her from working for another news outlet for two years," an insider told RadarOnline.
Curry is clearly ready to give NBC the fight it wants if that gets her out of her contract. The newsperson's lawyers are claiming Curry's dramatic demotion from the "Today" show in April 2012 breached the terms of her contract with NBC.
"Ann's lawyer feels that there is a very strong case to be made that NBC has breached terms of the deal because Curry was demoted from 'Today,'" the source told RadarOnline.
"Furthermore, Ann has basically been sequestered from appearing on the network. Yes, she has been doing some work that has been assigned to her, but it hasn't been steady."
At the time of Curry's demotion it was reported NBC made the move to curb a steep drop in the "Today" show's ratings; she was fired after the program lost its No. 1 ratings slot. That strategy seems to have backfired. The "Today" show finished out 2012 still trailing behind its main rival, ABC's "Good Morning America."