Tells the source:
“It’s just desserts. Matt is finally getting what he deserves!”
“His years-long feuds with former co-hosts Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry have taken their toll. Everyone has turned against him, and Matt is going to be ousted because he’s being blamed for the show’s collapse.”
The disclosure comes as the ‘Today’ show continues to cede viewership to its long term rival, ABC’s ‘Good Morning America,’ who until earlier this year had been consistently beating for the last 16 years in viewership polls.
That though all came to a head this summer after studio executive Jim Bell is said to have pulled the plug on co anchor Ann Curry who was literally booted off the show in one of the most humiliating ousters on prime tv which saw the seasoned TV journalist unabashedly weeping. At the time Ms Curry could hardly hide her sense of disbelief and betrayal as a nonchalant Matt Lauer sat along hardly trying to console the disillusioned Curry. It had been thought by many that Curry’s ouster was single handedly orchestrated by Lauer himself, a result of him not being happy with her performance as well as blaming her for the recent slide in viewership rankings.
In fact it is understood Matt Lauer had stipulated before signing back on to the show earlier this year he would only do so if executives would get rid of Curry.
Nevertheless viewer reaction to the ouster of Curry only came back to haunt NBC, with many repulsed by the way she was treated and the cavalier approach of anchor Matt Lauer who by now had begun to cause viewers to resent him. The resentment it seems didn’t stop with Curry or the viewers who rallied behind Curry but that of crew as well who would soon begin leaking their ardent dissatisfaction with Lauer who by now was said to be acting like an over bearing primadonna.
As the dissent escalated, Lauer found himself continuously attacked by the media who by now had sensed there was more going on that meets the eye. It wasn’t soon long before Lauer began to complain that he was ‘sick and tired’ of being the fall guy for Curry’s ouster and had ostensibly demanded that the show’s executive producer, Jim Bell, step up to the plate and acknowledge that it had been his decision alone to get rid of Curry. The eventual admission by Bell would eventually cost him his job, who is now said to be replaced with season veteran Alexandra Wallace who it is widely known to have little love for Lauer given the many clashes that they have had over the years.
The browbeating and the rumor mill then took an unexpected turn as recently as a week ago when a high ranking NBC executive then went on to reveal the following:
“This problem is not going to go away until Matt Lauer does,” a “prominent” former NBC News exec recently told a Big Apple newspaper. “He’s great, but fairly or unfairly, his brand is damaged.”
Tensions once again escalated after NBC announcing that they planned to fire up to 500 employees from its entertainment division with Lauer refusing to cede part of his recent $30 million a year salary deal to help keep some of the crew on. This despite Jay Leno of the ‘Tonight Show,’ agreeing to give up half of his salary to help fellow crew remain employed.
What had once been underlying loyalty to Lauer by now had begun to reach a crescendo of disgust and seething resentment that the king of morning tv was by no means a team player.
But it gets worse:
And NOW sources say well-liked weatherman Al Roker is secretly plotting to push Lauer aside, and will lobby the new boss for help.
“Matt and Al used to be good buddies – until Al found out Matt had been instrumental in Ann’s ouster,” said a “Today” source. “They come across as friends on the air, but that’s all an act.”
Then again this may not necessarily have come out of left field as Roker was seen to make a cryptic wise crack over the summer which hinted at the degree of discord amongst crew and fellow air hosts. By now rumors were flying that Lauer faced the very real possibility of being let go before the end of the year .
Says the National Enquirer: Roker has been campaigning for 37-year-old Willie Geist – who was recently named co-host of “Today’s” 9 a.m. hour – to take over Matt’s seat, said the first source.
“Adding a fresh new guy like Willie to the mix is just what Al feels ‘Today’ needs to help pull the show out of the ratings doldrums and compete with ‘GMA,’” the source explained.
Exacerbating Lauer’s problems and by extension humiliating NBC was Lauer’s wandering eye which by now had even his wife, Annette Roque running to the media and accusing her husband of cheating on her, even going so far as to accuse him of having an affair with co host, Natalie Morales. Something that needless to say hardly did ‘the Today’ show any favors and if anything served to debase the program to a sartorial version of its own tabloid folly.
Reports the Enquirer: As The ENQUIRER has reported, Lauer carried on an affair with Jessica Thorman, a married Florida woman, until just months before his 1998 wedding to Annette.
Her husband, Zoltan Molnar, accused Lauer of wrecking their marriage, and declared: “Matt is not the goody-goody nice guy he looks like on TV.”
How bitter sweet it must all seem now as Matt Lauer has now found himself a sitting duck as he must awkwardly sip on his morning chamomile tea and pretend that everything is ‘nice’ in the tabloid junkland that in essence has come courtesy of his own folly…