It's not every day a vagrant gets to shack up in a $2.9 million townhouse on Manhattan's Upper West Side. But one such domicile, owned by "Today" show co-host Ann Curry, has in fact been housing a homeless man.
The unidentified lodger apparently first stumbled into the brownstone on West 71st Street about a year ago, after contractors working on the home left the front door unlocked, according to the New York Post, which has the scoop on the surreptitious squatter.
Curry and her husband, Brian Ross, (not that Brian Ross), had long been renovating the four-story row-house--which they purchased in 2003--but were forced to halt construction because of building violations and complaints from litigious neighbors, who were none-too-pleased to discover a hobo living there Sunday morning, the Post reports. They called the cops to escort him off the premises, marking the second such eviction to occur on the property. (Cops reportedly kicked out a different homeless man earlier this year.)
Curry, along with fellow NBC News anchor Brian Williams and--wait for it--"Sesame Street"'s Big Bird, just helped a children's television network kick off a new campaign about "kindness" on Monday. Could it be that Curry, who currently lives in a doorman building in Gramercy Park, had quietly been extending some kindness to the down-and-out New Yorker who has been dwelling in her unfinished abode for 12 months?
"Ann Curry means crap to me!" the man told the Post, explaining: "The reason I lived there was because they chased me out of Central Park. ... I'm not a drug addict; I just don't have a place to sleep."
Curry is on assignment at the moment covering the famine in Somalia so could not be reached for comment. She left for the Horn of Africa on Aug. 11 and will be reporting from Mogadishu through Tuesday, starting with coverage that will air this evening on "NBC Nightly News" and tomorrow on the "Today" show.
"Ann has an exclusive look into a munitions factory where she and her team found homemade hand grenades, mortars and bombs that could be set off with cell phones--all the hallmarks of Al Qaeda," an NBC News spokeswoman told The Cutline. "She also has a report from the front lines of battle where they found militants who have been preventing humanitarian aid from reaching famine victims."
Curry was promoted from newsreader on "Today" in May, when Meredith Vieira announced she would be leaving the top-rated morning show. Since Curry first sat down in the anchor chair in June, the show's audience among the 25- to 54-year-old demographic favored by advertisers has increased 7.6-percent to an average of around 2.24 million viewers.
Those ratings have not dampened the speculation around the possible exit of veteran co-host Matt Lauer from "Today."
Mediaite reports today that "not only is Lauer serious about leaving, but that NBC executives are reasonably (and quite seriously) considering possible replacements," and that "the top choice of certain key Comcast and NBC execs is 'American Idol' host Ryan Seacrest."
According to Mediaite's Colby Hall: "The issue with Seacrest, according to insiders, is not whether he could get the gig, but whether he would take it. The full time hosting job would mean that Seacrest would have to leave his beloved Los Angeles and move to New York, which he is apparently loathe to do. Furthermore, hosting a morning show is a grueling job, and with his production company and various hosting jobs, something would have to give."
The NBC spokesperson declined to comment on whether Curry will have a new co-anchor after Lauer's contract expires at the end of 2012.