NBC Wants Ann Curry Off The Air For 6 Months In Exchange For Contract Release

NBC is continuing to play hardball with Ann Curry in terms of her contract negotiations.

The network wants Curry to remain off the air for six months before joining another media outlet in exchange for letting her out of her contract. But Curry, who has all but secured a job with CNN, doesn’t want to wait that long.

A source told RadarOnline that Curry’s bosses realized it was for the best to let her out of her contract, especially after her former co-host Matt Lauer spoke up in her defense.

“NBC has made it clear that if they let Ann out of her contract, they want to keep her off the air of a competing network for at least six months,” the source said. “This is unacceptable to Ann. She has been on the air only in a very limited capacity.”

Curry was hoping to join her former boss, Jeff Zucker, at CNN in February. Zucker wanted her to take over Anderson Cooper’s 8 pm time slot, and Cooper would be moving to a correspondent role. But at the rate NBC is going, Curry won’t be able to move to CNN until at least the middle of June.

In any case, NBC isn’t doing itself any favors by keeping Curry from getting a new job. After her ugly departure from Today last year, the morning show’s ratings dropped drastically, allowing rival Good Morning America to claim the number one spot that Today held for a decade. The one bright spot in this ordeal for NBC is that Today held a small weekend ratings lead over GMA for Q4 2012.