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Will Matt Lauer replace Dan Rather? CBS has mentioned the ''Today'' cohost -- and others -- for the soon-to-be-vacant anchor job

Matt Lauer | LAUER POWER Matt has turned up on CBS' wish list, though his contract with NBC may prevent him from making the switch
LAUER POWER Matt has turned up on CBS' wish list, though his contract with NBC may prevent him from making the switch

Who will replace Dan Rather when he retires in March? Maybe ''Friend of Couric'' Matt Lauer, from NBC's Today show. Or Meet the Press host (and keeper of the electoral Dry-Erase board) Tim Russert, according to a CBS ''wish list'' cited in the current issue of Newsweek.

Previously mentioned in-house frontrunners for the gig include CBS White House correspondent John Roberts and 60 Minutes Wednesday correspondent Scott Pelley. The addition of Lauer and Russert, Newsweek says, shows that CBS chairman Les Moonves may dramatically overhaul the Eye's evening news broadcast after Rather's departure.

Though NBC had no comment when EW.com asked about Lauer and Russert, sources say that both are currently under long-term contracts with the Peacock, and aren't going anywhere. Too bad, because you just know Lauer is dying for a shot at a job where he will never again have to utter the words ''Coming up next...panty hose!''

Originally posted Nov 29, 2004
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