Welcome to the Smart Set, every morning we bring you the gossip coverage, filtered. Today: NBC is already lining up replacements for Matt Lauer, Soledad O'Brien's new morning show may launch without a title, and more Kate Middleton pregnancy talk.
- NBC executives reportedly met with Ryan Seacrest last night to discuss him taking over Today show co-hosting duties from Matt Lauer, who's contract is up at the end of next year. According to sources, Seacrest is one of NBC's "top replacement choices" for Lauer, who reportedly told the network back in April that he plans to leave the morning show when his contract is up next December. [The Wall Street Journal]
- There's apparently "internal dissent" at CNN about how to handle the launch of Soledad O'Brien's new morning show in January, to the extent that the program -- which had the working title Morning Buzz -- may initially go on the air without a title. Also at issue: how to use "5 to 7 a.m. anchors Ashleigh Banfield and Zoraida Sambolin." The initial plan was for them to co-anchor the 7 to 9 a.m. programming block with O'Brien, but now sources say O'Brien wants to fly solo and do that by herself. [Page Six]
- Ashley Bush -- the "captivating sister of Lauren Bush Lauren and niece of George W. Bush" -- is the latest behind the scenes staffer to depart Anderson, Anderson Cooper's daytime talk show. Bush worked as personal assistant to executive producer Lisa Morin, who reportedly departed the program last week for personal reasons but sources say Bush gave notice before that. Bush is the daughter of Neil Bush, and this was reportedly her first job out of college. [Page Six]
- The Dubai premiere of the complicatedly punctuated Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol was delayed by two hours last night so that Tom Cruise -- in the company of his 30 person entourage could sign autographs and hobnob with fans on the red carpet. The screening was followed by an afterparty where attendees were "treated to live music on the beach of the sprawling Madinat Jumeirah Resort," but the majority of the film's principals skipped it, opting instead to travel to Moscow early in advance of tonight's Russian premiere. [The Hollywood Reporter]
- Kate Middleton wore black to a charity concert in London Tuesday night. She also held a black clutch in front of her stomach at all times," which has renewed all that talk from a few weeks back about her being pregnant. The Palace again refused to comment, though if they did, we think "Guys, relax: we'll tell you when she's pregnant" would be a serviceable response. [Us Weekly]
- Mitt Romney has chosen Kid Rock's "Born Free" as his official campaign song. The selection apparently comes the blessing of the scraggly-haired singer, who said in a blog post yesterday that the Romney campaign called him requesting permission to use the song and that he granted it because he believes "every candidate feels like he or she can help this country." Romney first played the song during a campaign stop in Arizona on Tuesday. [The Reliable Source]
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