REPORT: Matt Lauer Won't Be Back on "Today" - Is It True?
Where in the World Will Matt Lauer Land If He's Booted From "Today?"
According to the New York Times, things are not looking to good for Matt Lauer's tenure at the "Today" show.
It's been atop the ratings heap for 16 (SIXTEEN!) years, but now, after a troubled year that saw Ann Curry be sent packing and (snore) Savannah Guthrie join Matt Lauer on the hosting couch, the venerable morning show has fallen from the #1 spot -- and the higher ups at NBC are NOT happy about it in the slightest.
According to the New York Times, Lauer is being blamed for the show's tumble from grace with viewers. The paper reports that last month staffers from the show underwent a mass perfomrance review and that they were told that "What matters most is the anchor connection to the audience; what we need to work on is the connection." Was the word "connection" being used as a subtle way to mean "Lauer?"
At least one Today employee thinks so as he confided (on the condition of anonimity) that "What they meant was Matt. But no one would say it."
Lauer, who has had to bear the brunt of viewers' outrage over the seemingly unceremonious firing of Ann Curry, famously signed a $25 million contract with the peacock network last April. Then, on June 28, in a teary, heartfelt speech, Curry announced that she was leaving. Rumors have swirled ever since that Lauer was behind her ouster and his popularity -- once huge with fans and viewers alike -- began to tank and that's when ABC's "Good Morning America," long the number two show, began to gain on "Today." Coincidence?
For now, the brass at NBC appears to be remaining true to Lauer. On the outside at least. As the Times wrote, "While “we are aware of all the ridiculous rumors and gossip,” said Alex Wallace, the NBC News executive in charge of “Today,” “we would like Matt Lauer to be in the chair as long as he would like to be. We hope that’s for many years to come.”
What says Lauer? He's been tip-lipped about the situation -- so far. Time (and the ratings) will tell.