Ever since Ann Curry left The Today Show and was replaced by Savannah Guthrie, there’s been a lot of talk about how Matt Lauer was actually the one who orchestrated her exit more or less from the shadows. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Lauer never had any say in the whole thing, insiders are now saying for Radar Online. If anything, he only wanted the show to be number 1 and, if possible, to have that without cutting loose members of the team.
Contrary to various reports online and despite what the people at home might think, the decision to fire Ann was never Matt’s to take, so there’s no real reason to have him vilified in the press for it.
Convinced that he’s being painted as the bad guy for no reason, Today staff and producers have “rallied around” Lauer to show him their support and, at the same time, get the truth out there.
“The cast and crew have rallied around Matt and feel that he has been unfairly blamed for Ann's firing,” an inside source says for Radar.
The decision to let Curry out of her contract came from executive producer Jim Bell and not from Lauer, the same spy goes on to say.
“Matt is extremely supportive of the show and just wants to be back on top, he isn't happy with being in second place and is working with the staff to get back to where they used to be. Matt has been unfairly blamed for things that are just simply beyond his control as far as the show is concerned,” the spy explains.
Just as he’s been vilified for his reported contribution to Ann’s departure, he’s also been painted in a negative – and very untrue – light in the press.
“If Matt was such a tyrant to be around, why has he had the same assistant for over 15 years?” the same insider asks.
“Bryant went through a slew of assistants during his time at NBC and Matt has only had one during his tenure. A majority of the producers have also been on the staff for a number of years – if Matt was so horrible to be around, why isn't there a revolving door of exits?” asks the tipster.
As we also noted at the time, the conclusion that she was fired because NBC bosses simply needed a scapegoat could have partly been influenced by what Ann said when she announced her departure from the show.