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Persona Non Grata: Ann Curry's Former ‘TODAY’ Boss Bans Her From Covering Winter Olympics In Sochi

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Feb. 13 2014, Published 7:08 a.m. ET

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Gays are not the only ones considered persona non grata in Sochi. has learned that Ann Curry, once the darling of NBC’s Olympics coverage, has been banned from serving the Peacock network in Russia by the same man who oversaw her embarrassing demise at TODAY.

Jim Bell is serving as NBC’s executive producer for his second straight Olympics. He held the same post at TODAY until his demise last November, in the wake of what was reportedly “Operation Bambi” — the plot hatched by himself and other executives to force Curry, 57, from her co-anchor post.

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"There was no way Jim was going to allow Ann to do any reporting from Sochi for the Winter Olympics,” a source told

"He thought she would be huge distraction and a liability to NBC. It's no secret that Jim and Ann do not get along. Ann was disappointed not to go to Sochi because she has been a staple in past Olympic coverage on NBC."

During the Summer Olympics in London 2012, Curry stonewalled former colleague Matt Lauer as he made an attempt to make small talk during an appearance on TODAY, after she was fired.

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It’s not all bad news for Curry, however: She recently scored an exclusive interview with United States Secretary of State, John Kerry and filled in recently for Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News when he was en route to Sochi.

"There are two goals for TODAY while in Sochi,” explained a source. “To give the viewers the best coverage and to beat Good Morning America. There are no bad feelings from anyone at TODAY towards Ann. In fact, she has appeared numerous times on the show, since Savannah replaced her. They are all adults and extremely professional.

"The atmosphere really changed when Jim stepped down from being executive producer of TODAY and it has definitely been positive."



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