By Jen Heger - Radar Assistant Managing Editor
Kotb, who has been with the Peacock network since 1998 and co-hosts the fourth hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford, "could replace Ann Curry. Hoda scores off the charts in focus groups, and the audience can relate to her," a show insider previously told us.
Philbin, 80, co-hosted the fourth hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford last week, and the executives at NBC "absolutely love Regis, and want to formally sign him to become a special contributor to Today and work with the network on entertainment specials. If Hoda is chosen to become Matt Lauer's co-anchor, Regis would be the natural choice to replace her.
Kathie Lee and Regis have a long history together from their days of working together on their own show, Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee. The two have remained very good friends in the years since both left the show," an NBC source told us.
The native New Yorker will be hosting NBC's Macy's fourth of July extravaganza in primetime and Philbin admitted during his co-hosting gig with Kathie Lee that he missed appearing on television.