Ann Curry expected to replace Meredith Vieira on ‘Today’

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A month ago, we told you that Ann Curry, longtime news anchor for NBC’s ‘Today,’ was expected to replace Meredith Vieira as the show’s co-host; over the weekend, the New York Times reported that NBC would make the announcement on Monday. (Vieira is leaving of her own accord, and if all goes as planned, Curry should take her seat in June.) Nothing’s official yet -- NBC did not return calls for confirmation, and Osama bin Laden’s death may have pushed the announcement back a day or two -- but NBC’s expected to tap Natalie Morales, the 9 a.m. anchor of ‘Today,’ as the new news anchor, while moving White House correspondent and MSNBC anchor Savannah Guthrie into the 9 a.m. anchor spot.

The news could come at a time of great reshuffling among the network news and morning shows. Katie Couric recently confirmed that she’s leaving CBS Evening News, and CBS is expected to announce Scott Pelley of ’60 Minutes’ as her replacement. On Friday, Erin Burnett of CNBC announced that she’s leaving for CNN. Meanwhile, Couric is planning a move to daytime with her own show, leading some to speculate whether her former ‘Today’ co-anchor Matt Lauer will eventually join her. (His contract is up in 2012, though his boss, Jim Bell, says Lauer’s not leaving.)

Curry’s promotion would come five years after she was passed over for the position when Couric left ‘Today’ for CBS. Since Vieira began co-hosting in 2006, Curry has developed a reputation as a hard-news reporter, occasionally filling in on NBC’s ‘Nightly News.’ We look forward to seeing her get just as passionate about interviewing drunk Ewoks and Donald Trump as she was about reporting from Kosovo, Darfur, and Pakistan.

-- Melissa Maerz