“Been there, done that,” said Ms. Fitz. “Maybe if it was her retirement, way down the road. When she’s already done everything, she can come back. Like Kathie Lee.”
The Observer meandered over toward a pack of teenagers decked out in sky blue sweatshirts who were leaning on the railing and gawking at Mr. Lauer, who stood a few feet away, in a trench coat, telling the world about New York’s chilly April weather.
An outgoing young woman explained that they were members of the Miami Country Day School orchestra and tomorrow night they would be performing at Carnegie Hall. What should Katie do next? A teacher intervened. Don’t even go there. A fellow band member looked confused. “Who’s Katie Couric?” he asked NYTV.
Across the plaza, Kelsi Radzikinas of Buffalo was watching former Dallas Cowboys star Deion Sanders promote something or other. The night before, Ms. Radzikinas had turned 21. She was celebrating with her aunt from Indiana, and wearing a tiara. Ms. Radzikinas said she was a big Katie fan and suggested that the anchor should get her own talk show.
The aunt frowned. “She needs to stay home with her kids,” she volunteered.
“Not nice!” said the niece.
“She could take over for Rosie O’Donnell,” said the aunt, softening her stance.
“Yeah, I’d like to see her with the girls on The View,” said the niece.
Just then, Meredith Viera, in a lime green jacket, approached. A few seconds later, Ms. Viera was stroking the niece’s hair and cooing to the aunt. She leaned in and kissed the birthday girl on the cheek.
The aunt sized up Ms. Viera and beamed. “That girl is the real deal,” she noted.
In the meantime, at the back of the plaza, Mr. Sollars, the 18-year-old from outside Manchester, Pa., had seemingly convinced his friends that Ms. Couric’s return to Today was the right thing to do.
“It would be good to see her come back,” said Adam Wolf, 16, agreeing with his buddy.
“I’d like to see her come back, too” said Derik Bartrom, 15.
The three amigos said they were in town for a “student senate type thing.”
“Katie gave it that special touch that I don’t think Meredith has,” said Mr. Bartrom.
Mr. Sollars, the student senate type, clarified their position.
“We love Meredith,” he said. “We don’t want to bash Meredith.”
“Maybe Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Katie,” he suggested. “Tuesday and Thursday: Meredith.”
The Return of Joan Lunden?
Speaking of Today alumni … NYTV has learned that former Today producer Amy Rosenblum—who left NBC News back in December as part of a series of year-end layoffs—is currently working on developing a show with … Joan Lunden!