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NEW YORK (AP) _ NBC said Monday that Tom Touchet, who worked at ABC's competing ``Good Morning America'' for more than five years, is the new executive producer in charge of the ``Today'' show.

Touchet began work at morning television's top-rated news show on Monday.

His immediate predecessor, Jonathan Wald, was removed in October amid reports of behind-the-scenes friction with host Katie Couric and others. Wald had the tough task of succeeding Jeff Zucker, now NBC's entertainment president, who led ``Today'' to its current dominance.

Touchet was widely considered the lead contender for the job, but needed to wait before becoming contractually available to NBC.

At ``Good Morning America,'' which has become increasingly competitive with ``Today'' over the past few years, Touchet produced coverage of the 2000 presidential election and special events after the Sept. 11 attacks. Before joining ABC in 1995, he was a producer at ``Fox Morning News'' in Washington, D.C.

He was not made available by NBC on Monday for interviews.

Touchet may have an ``in'' with Couric _ both attended the University of Virginia. An NBC spokeswoman said the two didn't know each other in college.