The love hate affair for Matt Lauer continues with the latest revelation that the $25 million a year paid anchor might be asked to call it a day if ratings don’t resume an upward climb come February, 2013.
Radaronline: “News executive Alexandra Wallace has told NBC bosses she will have to replace Matt if the ratings continue to tank,” a show insider tells RadarOnline.com. “The TODAY show has always been considered a cash cow for the network. It dominated the morning news ratings for years and brought in millions of dollars in ad revenue.
“But, if viewers continue preferring Good Morning America over the TODAY show that revenue will decrease and cuts will have to be made.
“Matt’s contract pays him $25 million-a-year, and he just signed an extension to that deal last year before the ratings started falling.
“However, Alexandra has told her bosses if the show isn’t pulling in more viewers by February, she has no alternative but to fire Matt.
Which goes some way to explaining Matt Lauer’s recent displeasure with the announcement that Wallace was being brought on to take over Jim Bell who was cut after a continual prolonged slide in the show’s ratings.
Coincidentally Bell is also thought to have been let go to appease viewer rancor after Ann Curry’s ouster, with Bell stepping up to the plate to take the fall. At the time many had played the blamesquarely on Lauer who wasn’t too thrilled with assertions that it had been his decision to remove Curry. Nevertheless negative sentiment has continued to be plague the anchor who has been the subject of consistent rumors and speculation that his head is next.
In fact dissent towards Lauer heightened during Thanksgiving were he was accused of giving a rather poor showing. Lauer’s reaction? He doesn’t pay attention to what twitter has to say about him. Which is a polite way of saying he’d rather not let all you ‘loudmouths’ know how worked up he really is about the escalating move to get him off the airwaves.
Which brings us to the next bit of news pertaining to Lauer. His possible replacement come February.
Continues Radaronline: “The replacement is likely to be Willie Geist. He has been wildly popular with viewers and the crew since he was named co-host of the third hour of the show,” the insider divulges.
Adding to the mix is the following via nydailynews: Insiders at the show said they are waiting to see what kind of changes the new executive producer, Don Nash, might make.
Nash, a longtime “Today” veteran, takes over the telecast next week.
Let’s hope Matt manages to retain his perfect chamomile tea repose as the winter winds head his way…