Longtime ‘Today’ show weatherman Al Roker is facing job loss. The national TV figures contract has ended and he may be replaced by “Weather Channel” host Sam Champion. Roker earned an estimated $8 million from his Today host position and other projects tied to his job at NBC. Although Roker’s net worth is around $30 million losing the Today show will hurt his branding and wallet.
In 2012, Roker stoked controversy when he spoke out against Ann Curry not being chosen to Replace Katie Couric at the anchor desk. Curry had been a reporter for the “Today” for over 13 years and was widely thought to be the next co-host and the first Asian American co-host on the show. However it was reported that “Today” show anchor Matt Lauer did not get along with Ann Curry. TMZ stated that one of the conditions that Matt Lauer insisted on during his contract negotiations was that Ann Curry be terminated. Later that year Curry gave a tearful goodbye on the Today show and was replaced by Savannah Guthrie.
Al Roker then started what could only be called a stealth protest. He was accused of messing up live segments and took a jab at Matt Lauer during a segment on Olympic rowers. When talking about after race traditions that includes throwing a teammate in the water, Matt Lauer jokingly said “The tradition here in New York is you throw her in the Hudson River.” To which Al Roker quickly responded “Which is different than our tradition, which is you throw one of us under the bus, but that’s another story.” The comment was considered a direct shot at Matt Lauer.
Al Roker is well liked by the Today show audience and his departure could have very negative results for NBC, especially after its controversial firing of Ann Curry. Roker’s agents are shopping him around currently for other possible projects. Today show producer Don Nash stated to the NY Post
“As much as we are happy to have Sam in the family at the Weather Channel, the ‘Today’ show is not in the market for a weather anchor. Al is beloved by NBC and our viewers. [He and Sam] are longtime friends and supportive of each other.”
Source: Rolling Out