New York magazine recently published a piece about Matt Lauer and his increasingly important role at NBC. Earlier this month we reported that Lauer was said to be close to a new deal with the network, which would put an additional $8 million in his pocket. Now, Gawker is asking if Lauer’s deal included getting his Today Show co-host Ann Curry off the gig.
Gawker points to this specific statement in the New York piece:
Lauer’s worth only increased when Meredith Vieira left and handed the co-anchor chair to Ann Curry, who in the eyes of many television-news executives has experienced a rocky transition to her new role.
The piece also emphasized Lauer’s central role in NBC’s “ad revenues in excess of $450 million in 2010.” After “playing the beta to Katie Couric’s alpha,” the article notes, “he’s now the linchpin of the franchise, his versatility and likability buoying the program ever since her departure in 2006.”
It’s not a secret that Lauer hasn’t been happy with his co-host. Furthermore, Today’s ratings have been down, with ABC’s Good Morning America catching up to them. Gawker quotes sources (ahem, Brian Williams strikes again?) saying Lauer “absolutely hates her.” Signaling her grim fate, the post also notes sources saying, “Everybody knows she’s gone.”
Rumored replacement? Possibly Savannah Guthrie, who currently serves as NBC’s chief legal analyst. It’ll be interesting to see how NBC shakes things up.
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