Matt Lauer’s Brand Is “Damaged,” He’s Dragging Today Show Down

Former NBC News executive says Lauer has got to go to save The Today Show

By on November 15th, 2012 14:27 GMT

Amidst managerial changes on The Today Show and following Ann Curry’s shocking departure, a former NBC News executive is stating the obvious: no matter how much NBC strives to save the show, it won’t be able to do so until Matt Lauer is out of the picture.

Various reports online claim that it was Lauer who had Curry fired before her contract was up, letting her take the fall – at least publicly – for the dip in ratings.

However, even after Curry’s departure, ratings have not improved. If anything, they’re even worse today than they were then, which can only mean that the problem was never Curry and definitely not the managers that are constantly being fired and replaced.

With a new manager poised to take over, one executive believes no amount of “reshuffling” will solve the problem: it’s Matt who has to go for that to happen.

“This problem is not going to go away until Matt Lauer does. He’s great, but fairly or unfairly, his brand is damaged,” a “prominent” former NBC News exec says for the Daily News.

“The sentiment comes just as a new production team is poised to take over Today, which has fallen into second place this year behind archrival Good Morning America in the cutthroat ratings race,” the publication further notes.

Changing the production team isn’t getting at the root of the problem, the exec stresses. As long as Matt still has the final call, getting a new production team is like rubbing a wooden leg.

Reports earlier this summer also stressed that Lauer’s determination to get Curry fired only made things worse for the show.

Admittedly, the entire staff is displeased with his actions and would rather see him go five minutes ago if that meant getting Curry back, who has always been a true professional.

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