matt lauer katie couric 2014 getty 'Today': Katie Couric to step in for Savannah Guthrie when Guthrie goes on maternity leave?A bouncing new baby at “Today” means an empty spot at the news desk later this year when co-host Savannah Guthrie goes on maternity leave. Is NBC eying Katie Couric for a temporary return?

According to the New York Daily News, a partygoer at the soiree to celebrate the redesign of The New York Observer overheard Couric and Matt Lauer discussing how “cool” it would be if Couric returned temporarily to the anchor desk.

A staffer at NBC News says that the viewers loved Couric and Matt Lauer together, so this affords the show “a chance to give [the viewers] exactly what they want,” while an NBC News spokeswoman is neither confirming nor denying the rumor, saying that they are “blessed with great talent” and “many options” for when Guthrie is on leave.

“There’s no plan yet. Stay tuned,” says the spokeswoman.

The Daily News says there have also been talks about Meredith Vieira stepping in, but an insider says that it’s all speculation at this point. One thing is for certain, however — Guthrie would only be temporarily replaced and would resume her hosting duties once her maternity leave is over.

Posted by:Andrea Reiher

TV critic by way of law school, Andrea Reiher enjoys everything from highbrow drama to clever comedy to the best reality TV has to offer. Her TV heroes include CJ Cregg, Spencer Hastings, Diane Lockhart, Juliet O'Hara and Buffy Summers. TV words to live by: "I'm a slayer, ask me how."