Lauer Off The Hook?
With ratings down at the Today show, host Matt Lauer's name has been thrown around as the next one to go. But NBC says that just isn't going to happen.
The Today Show has had a roller-coaster year, after losing the ratings war for the first time in more than 18 years to Good Morning America. The show also "re-assigned" co-host Ann Curry and put Savannah Guthrie in the slot. But now, with faltering ratings, Matt Lauer's name is being thrown around as the next one on the chopping block.
RadarOnline reported that Alexandra Wallace, who was recently hired as the next "executive in charge" at Today, told co-workers she would "replace Matt if the ratings continue to tank."
But according to Wallace, those rumors don't mean anything. She said that Lauer fans have nothing to worry about.
"There is absolutely no truth to this," she told the New York Post. "There have been some recent outrageous claims regarding Matt and the Today show, and an awful lot of piling on from nameless, faceless sources. These stories are wrong and irresponsible."
And sources told the New York Post there is nothing to worry about even with lower ratings, because the show is still winning the ratings war in the demos the network cares about.
"Lauer has become a prime fan target in light of Good Morning America's resurgence to No. 1 and the wildly unpopular dumping of Ann Curry this past summer," said the NY Post. "NBC News President Steve Capus recently came to Lauer's defense, saying the big-money host doesn't deserve blame for Today's ratings collapse."
And they are right about big money. Back in April, Lauer signed a new contract keeping him in the co-host seat for years to come. While no number was divulged, sources told the Huffington Post it could be as much as $25 million a year. NBC still seems to think Lauer is worth every penny.
"Sadly," Capus told The Daily Beast, "this is the era in which we live: Venomous tweets somehow threaten to drown out all of those who praised Matt for his coverage."
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