New York Magazine Details TODAY's Troubles

Is Matt Lauer to blame for Ann Curry being fired from TODAY? Yes, in a roundabout way, according to New York magazine writer Joe Hagan, who has taken a lengthy look at the peacock network's morning show drama.

Ann Curry, Matt Lauer

After much speculation and endless gossip, it seems Ann Curry's ousting from TODAY can be boiled down to a simple lack of chemistry between the much-loved newbie and morning show veteran Matt Lauer.

In an in-depth look at NBC's drama, Joe Hagan explains in a piece for New York magazine that if hosts can't get along convincingly, one of them simply has to go.

"Everybody at NBC, everybody at the Today show, everybody understood that Ann was kicked out of her position because Matt didn't want her there," a prominent NBC staffer told Hagan. "That's why it was so personal between Ann and Matt."

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Don Nash, executive producer for TODAY, concurred, explaining, "You can't fake it for very long that early in the morning. I think viewers have a sixth sense about all that. If your two anchors don't like each other off the air, they're not going to be fooled if they love each other on the air."

Though there doesn't seem to be an exact reason 56-year-old Ann Curry and Matt Lauer failed to spark, their awkward relationship dates back to day one.

"Off air, Curry and Lauer had no relationship and barely spoke," Joe Hagan wrote in the piece published Sunday. "When she started, Curry had asked Lauer out for lunch to get advice, but Lauer seemed to drag his feet scheduling it and Curry felt he didn't offer much… with Curry, who threw off his rhythm and also threatened his dominance of the hard-news stories, he could often look sour."

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It seems Curry's role on the show could have been saved if Lauer had stuck to his plans of "downsizing his work life, playing more golf, spending more time with his kids in the Hamptons." However, the 55-year-old ultimately decided to stay, snagging "a reported $25 million a year to work four days a week."

That's essentially when Ann Curry lost her job.

"At the moment when he had maximum leverage with NBC, Lauer, as the multimillion-dollar megastar, could easily have saved her — but he didn't," Hagan explains. "To the contrary, in signing a new contract to remain at the show for at least two more years, he tacitly ratified the plan to remove her."

"It was a hard time for everybody," Matt Lauer commented previously of the drama surrounding Ann's leaving. "I don't think the show and the network handled the transition well. You don't have to be Einstein to know that... We were seen as a family, and we didn't handle a family matter well."

Do you believe Matt Lauer deserves blame for Ann Curry's firing?

Image via WENN


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Comments on "Ann Curry and Matt Lauer's feud "was so personal""

Dianna June 03, 2013 | 4:32 AM

If Matt Lauer leaves the today show it will fail. He is the main reason most people watch. Ratings fell when Meredith left because a large portion really liked her but Matt leaving would now kill it. No one likes savannah. She is clumsy and not flattering to the show. Please replace her and not Matt. If he leaves I promise you the show will die.

Alayna May 27, 2013 | 8:45 PM

I don't really have a problem with any of them I just want to get my news. I've switched to GMA after NBC ignored 9/11

DeDee May 02, 2013 | 9:30 PM

I've never like Matt Lauer and after this whole MESS with Ann, I like him even less. YES, I believe he is the absolute reason that Ann was fired and NO ONE is worth the kind of money they are paying him. To me, he is boring, lacks energy and presence on any show. He is the reason the show is a FLOP! Guess the BOYS just love him. NOT ME!

tablabla May 02, 2013 | 5:11 AM

Matt should go play golf. He is so boring. Savannah is sweet but she's no kattie or ann. Gma is a good show and will leave you refreshed to start your day. Today, not so much.

JC May 01, 2013 | 3:46 AM

No one no one no one no one no one Absolutely NO ONE has even the slightest idea what really happened at The Today Show, NO ONE! Yet, there seem to be a number of people here that want to throw Matt Lauer under the bus. Until we know the 100% truth (something we probably will never know) keep your f.....g worthless opinions to yourself. Until I learn the absolute truth I am going to appreciate Matt Lauer for the professional he is, hope that Ann Curry finds something career wise that take advantage of her many talents, and keep my opinion to myself. Maybe there are a few others that should do the same.

Pat April 30, 2013 | 5:42 PM

I haven't watched the progam since the day she left The show, and I am enjoying CBS since.

LauraL April 29, 2013 | 11:29 AM

Was never a lauer fan or curry fan or Katie fan was pure gumble/paulie. The today show has never been the same and why I've been.a GMA fan the last years or so. Way better programming and producing on GMA. It is a boys club at NBC they probably put curry through hell having worked in tv it's easy to understand. But for Gifford to start a petition and she has no idea what goes on behind closed doors...she's a talking head. I enjoy her banter but she's not a network exec and when they want her out maybe she'll understand.

Jlp April 29, 2013 | 7:42 AM

I like her interviews but did not like her as co ancher. I thought she lacked enthusiasm and did not enjoy watching her at all.

diana April 21, 2013 | 5:29 AM

its obvious what kind of person ann is ... and what matt is not ... its sad what they put ann thru ... if any company deserved to have their ass sued off its nbc today show ... i don't think they are ever going to recover from this ... like myself (age 70) i have watched the today show from probably close to day one but no more ... i really enjoy watching good morning america now ... will never go back just on principle

FBG April 19, 2013 | 5:41 PM

Ann Curry is a class act. Those who fall short and feel threatened sometimes push back. Unfortunately Ann Curry was the sacrificial lamb. Hope the door smacks Mr. Lauer in the ---.

CJ March 28, 2013 | 6:50 PM

I think Ann Curry has a warm and caring persona. She's beliveable. With a little more encouragement and support, I believe she would have grown into the anchor slot as well as any one else. As with most arrogant people, Matt did not want to share the limelight with anyone. He knew his opinions carried a lot of weight; and he shoved Ann out the door! It's only fair that now he goes since the ratings have not improved. That shows you that Ann wasn't the problem.Maybe the problem was Matt Lauer all along!

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