Matt Lauer on his way out at Today?

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Matt Lauer on his way out at Today?

Postby jon » Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:45 pm

As ‘Today’ ratings dive, word is that host Matt Lauer’s role is up for discussion
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BY MARIANNE GARVEY, CARSON GRIFFITH AND BRIAN NIEMIETZ
New York Daily News - Confidenti@l column
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013, 8:08 PM
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013, 6:00 AM

The “Today” show has fallen harder than Jennifer Lawrence on Oscar night. A former NBC executive tells Confidenti@l that as the former number one morning show slips into third place locally (and New York is the most vital U.S. market), replacing Matt Lauer is now seriously on the table.

“They are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. They can shift things around, but it’s not helping,” says our source.

“Their short-term solution is looking for new experts to replace some of the familiar faces that have been on the show forever. What they also need to do is hire someone to shake up everything and have the discussion about what to do with Matt.”

“Today,” which had held the top spot in mornings for the past 16 years, is now behind both “Good Morning America” and Fox 5’s morning show “Good Day New York,” losing to both in the February sweeps. “GMA” pummeled “Today” for the third week in a row, while “GDNY” won the coveted 25-54 age group.

Yesterday, “GDNY” host Rosanna Scotto sent out a series of tweets, asking: “Did u hear? WNYW’s ‘Good Day New York’ beats ‘Today’ among younger viewers during February sweeps.”

Ouch.

“‘Today’ can’t continue like this,” says our source. “If they don’t act soon, the show will be a distant memory.”

Our source adds that Comcast, the network’s owner, is “aggressively” looking to add another executive producer to the show. However, “they are having a lot of trouble finding anyone until the network makes the one change that needs to be made – replacing Matt Lauer,” the source said.

But another source says the show will not be hiring another EP, but has hired a senior broadcast producer to fill the spot of recently promoted Don Nash. That new staffer will start in a few months.

Morale at “Today” is also at an all-time low, and staffers are fear-stricken over losing their jobs after what happened to departed co-anchor Ann Curry, former executive producer Jim Bell and NBC News president Steve Capus, who resigned in February.

“On top of everything, Matt took a vacation during sweeps. It doesn’t seem to matter if he’s around or not,” says our original source.

To NBC’s credit, “GMA” numbers got a boost from Robin Roberts’ return on Feb. 20, and from the Oscars and the “Dancing With the Stars” cast announcement this week. And Lauer’s vacation has come in the exact same week three years in a row, coinciding with his kids’ school vacation.
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Re: Matt Lauer on his way out at Today?

Postby jon » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:56 pm

Matt Lauer addresses Ann Curry dismissal, ‘Today’ ratings plummet: ‘I’ll get out of the way’ if the show is better without me
Lauer's tenure on the morning show has made him the highest-paid television personality, but certainly at a cost - he's also widely blamed for Ann Curry's dismissal.
By Don Kaplan / DAILY NEWS STAFF
New York Daily News
Published: Monday, March 11, 2013, 9:29 AM
Updated: Monday, March 11, 2013, 7:18 PM

Such a mess.

Embattled “Today” show host Matt Lauer finally admitted Monday he and his once-dominant morning program flubbed co-host Ann Curry’s ouster so badly that he tried to resign last fall.

"I don't think the show and the network handled the transition well,” he told the Daily Beast in his first interview about the woeful situation at “Today.”

“You don't have to be Einstein to know that, it clearly did not help us. We were seen as a family, and we didn't handle a family matter well," he added.

In the softball interview, which sources told the Daily News was part of NBC’s attempt to clear up Lauer’s tarnished image, network insiders claimed Lauer actually tried to convince his bosses to give Curry more time before she was pushed into a reduced role.

Curry — who never developed the same chemistry with Lauer as her predecessors, Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira — even allegedly angered her network bosses by crying on live TV when she told viewers she was leaving.

Since then, “Today” has fallen into second place in the ratings to arch-rival “Good Morning America” and viewers have blamed Lauer for the Curry debacle.

But numerous NBC executives have defended Lauer.

"When Matt was informed that we had made this decision, his good counsel was to go slow, to take care of Ann, and to do the right things," former NBC News president Steve Capus — who resigned last month — told the Daily Beast.

"He was quietly and publicly a supporter of Ann's throughout the entire process. It is unfair that Matt has shouldered an undue amount of blame for a decision he disagreed with."

The anti-Lauer sentiment was so strong last fall, he tried to resign, according to the Daily Beast.

"If you think the show's better off without me, let me know, and I'll get out of the way," Lauer told NBC chief Steve Burke who refused to accept the TV star's resignation.

Meanwhile, Lauer believes the real reason viewers have tuned out “Today” — at least in the last six months — has less to do with him and everything to do with the show covering crime stories.

“The show got a little dour and depressing and dark,” he said. “We want people to feel good about a portion of their morning, and we got away from that.”

Lauer claims “Today” is “a much more positive show, a more uplifting show. Much of the darkness is gone, by design.” While “Today” will always cover hard-news, “we’re choosing more inspiring stories.”

But others disputed some of Lauer’s tell-all, noting NBC News brass have been feverishly trying to clean up his tarnished image and Monday’s story was largely seen as part of their efforts.

"No one believes that he really likes Ann Curry," sniffed a "Today" source.
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