Host contemplating departure from morning show

Meredith Vieira may be preparing her exit from NBC’s “Today.”

Vieira, whose contract ends in the fall, is said to be contemplating an exit from the anchor chair to spend more time with her husband, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. She may yet work out a way to stay on at the net in a different capacity, a source familiar with the situation said.

If Vieira were to leave, the source said, her successor would most likely be “Today” news anchor and frequent “Nightly News” substitute anchor Ann Curry. Other names being considered for Vieira’s spot include Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie and Erin Burnett of CNBC.

NBC News dismissed the rumors of Vieira’s impending departure as baseless speculation.

“The ‘Today’ show anchors are currently under contract and firmly in place,” a spokeswoman said.

Vieira joined “Today” in 2006, after Katie Couric departed the ayemcast to anchor “The CBS Evening News” — a gig that Couric coincidentally is expected to leave soon.

“Today” has topped its ABC and CBS ayemcast competish for more than 15 years.

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