A new cover story in New York magazine seeks to expose the mess that has led The Today Show to its lowest ratings in year.
And while author Joe Hagan reports that Matt Lauer nearly left for ABC last year, the most explosive passages document that anchor contentious relationship with Ann Curry.
“Everybody at NBC, everybody at the Today show, everybody understood that Ann was kicked out of her position because Matt didn’t want her there,” an important NBC staffer told Hagan for the story. “That’s why it was so personal between Ann and Matt.”
In an especially sloppy handling, Curry was let go from the program last year – and this isn’t the first time Lauer has been blamed for the firing.
Don Nash, a current Today producer, doesn’t try to pretend that there was chemistry behind the former colleagues.
“You can’t fake it for very long that early in the morning,” Nash told Hagan. “I think viewers have a sixth sense about all that. If your two anchors don’t like each other off the air, they’re not going to be fooled if they love each other on the air.”
Hagan adds that Curry and Lauer “barely spoke” when the cameras weren’t rolling and that Lauer grew more and more “disgruntled” as time went on.
“He made it clear to friends that he was miserable with Curry and uncomfortable with his corporate masters at Comcast.”
The situation was finally resolved with Curry’s ousting in June 2012, a transition Lauer now admits was not handled well.
Pick up the latest issue of New York for a lot more insight into the ugly situation at NBC.