In the wake of Matt Lauer’s unceremonious ousting from NBC News and most notably Today, the public has been agog at developments regarding who will fill Lauer’s spot. Ann Curry’s name has been mentioned in passing, and unrelated to Curry but still interesting, Today has enjoyed a ratings spike in the days since Lauer has been let go. What this seems to indicate is that people are eager to see a familiar or fresh face come to the table, and they are not letting Lauer’s departure hinder their enjoyment of Today. So, who is a viable contender to replace Lauer?
One of the names currently in the mix (but still unconfirmed as the official choice) is MSNBC’s Craig Melvin, a natural fit for replacing Lauer; that’s professionally speaking, of course. Melvin might be a bit of an unknown quantity to the non-MSNBC viewership, but as Entertainment Tonight reports, he’s incredibly qualified and seems to be a good fit with the rest of Today‘s affable and competent team.
An inside source tells ET the people on the Today team are big fans of Melvin’s work over at MSNBC and think he could do really well on Today. “This would give the network the opportunity to make Melvin into a star at NBC. This would be clean slate,” the source claims.
Melvin has been with the MSNBC team since July 2011, and previous to this, he served as a weekend reporter for an NBC-owned local station in Washington, D.C. Melvin’s MSNBC profile also states that during his time on the network, he has reported on some of the timeliest and most socially relevant news stories in recent years, including the George Zimmerman trial, the Sandy Hook shooting and both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in 2016. The mix of pleasant on-air personality with the ability to deliver hard-hitting news is not at all dissimilar to Lauer’s role on Today‘s team, so again, it feels like Melvin would be a natural fit for the job.
Melvin is not a surefire choice, though. Another strong contender to replace Lauer is Willie Geist, who has been a fill-in anchor on Today, and thus, has the love of the viewership and the know-how of Today that works in his favor. For now, it’s still fairly wait-and-see, but there’s no doubt that if Melvin were chosen, he’d fit right in with the rest of the Today anchors.