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SPIN, NOT NEWS, DEFINES NBC'S CONFIRMATION

When NBC finally confirmed Monday that Meredith Vieira, right, was leaving the Today show June 8, moving Natalie Morales to reading the news and Savannah Guthrie to co-hosting the third hour, news outlets already had reported the rumored changes for weeks. So Monday's press conference was a lovefest laced with rumor control. Co-anchor Matt Lauer said he "never enjoyed a partner more than Meredith" (what about Katie Couric?) and downplayed talk of leaving Today while admitting he did talk briefly with Couric about joining her on a talk show. Vieira complimented her co-hosts, saying she wanted to spend more time with husband, Richard Cohen, while he was healthy, denying gossip that his multiple sclerosis had worsened.

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