Last year, Ann Curry was unceremoniously dumped from Today, much to the chagrin of many fans who thought it was unfair to blame her for the long-running show’s struggles. Unfortunately for NBC, her ouster did nothing to stem the slumping ratings. In fact, the mass migration over to Good Morning America only accelerated, and many departing viewers took to the Internet to cite longtime host Matt Lauer as the primary cause for their frustrations. At the time, most observers thought Lauer was simply tuning the criticism out, but it turns out, the exact opposite was true.
In a new interview with The Daily Beast, NBC Universal Chief Steve Burke admits that Lauer was vehemently against Curry’s firing at the time and even offered to resign when the ratings started going south and people blamed him. The higher ups at the network never even considered accepting his offer, however. In fact, to this day, they’re convinced Lauer is still the biggest strength the show has going for it. That being said, everyone involved does agree Curry’s firing was not handled well.
Here’s what Lauer had to say…
Moving forward, everyone at Today is making a concerted effort to be more positive and to cover stories people actually enjoy watching, as opposed to celebrity scandals and true crime incidents. With a new producer and a second place fire under their ass for the first time in more than a decade, they should be able to rebound too.
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
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