Ex-TODAY co-anchor ANN CURRY formally implores NBC head honchos to release her from her contract so she can snare a gig at CNN.

Ann would like to bid adieu to Matt Lauer and join her old boss Jeff Zucker at the pioneer 24 hour newser.

As The ENQUIRER reported previously Zucker is taking over in February 2013.

"Ann wants out of her contract, big time. She has formally asked her attorney to explore exit options from the network. However, NBC bosses have indicated they are unwilling to release Ann from the contract. If Ann were to just quit, there is a non-compete clause, which would prohibit her from working for another news outlet for two years,” a source told

 “Ann's lawyer feels that there is a very strong case to be made that NBC has breached terms of the deal because Curry was demoted from TODAY. Furthermore, Ann has basically been sequestered from appearing on the network. Yes, she has been doing some work that has been assigned to her, but it hasn't been steady," the insider added.

Zucker, TODAY’s former executive producer and one-time NBC/Universal prexy, would like to place Curry in CNN’s coveted 8 p.m. prime time slot — currently occupied by Anderson Coooper.

Since Curry’s departure from TODAY this past summer, ratings on the once-dominant AM yakker began sinking, allowing rival Good Morning America at the Alphabet Net to capture the #1 spot.

TODAY's lagging ratings have "vindicated Ann Curry, because the numbers just don't lie. She wasn't responsible for the show tanking in the ratings. Ann doesn't like the fact that the show isn't back on top, but her on-air presence wasn't the problem. In fact, the show lost more viewers after Ann departed the show.

“As long as Ann remains at NBC, it will be a constant reminder to everyone of how badly the situation was handled. It would be so much better for NBC, Ann, and CNN if she was let out of her contract. It would be a new beginning and a chance for all parties involved to move on, once and for all," the insider said.