A lot of us had sympathy for Ann Curry yesterday. Nay, we’ve had sympathy for her for weeks now. My take is still that Ann deserved to go, and that she was not a very good co-anchor. But I still think that everything that went down, with the very public leaks of internal NBC business and with Matt Lauer basically calling the shots, pulling rank and ordering Curry to go, it was all a really nasty way to do business. And I don’t think Lauer has come out of this dirty business unscathed – while many think that Ann deserved to go, Curry is now awash in public sympathy after she couldn’t contain her tears during her sendoff, and I think she was genuinely devastated by how poorly she was treated. Here’s the video again – note the body language between Ann and Matt.
That was one of the most awkward kisses ever. Ann really looked like she was fighting it, right? Well, insiders claim that Curry and Lauer were extremely cold to each other when the cameras were off too:
Not-so-fond farewell. Ann Curry couldn’t fight back the tears when she announced her immediate departure from the TODAY show Thursday after 15 years at the show and just one year as co-host — with Matt Lauer and other colleagues offering comforting words of support on-air.
Behind the scenes, it was a different story. “It was so icy on the set,” an insider tells Us Weekly of the days leading up to Curry’s much-speculated farewell. “You could cut the tension with a knife.”
In particular, the dynamic between Curry, 55, and Lauer, 54, was particularly awkward. “When the cameras stopped rolling, Ann wouldn’t even look at Matt,” says the set source. (Indeed, on Thursday’s show, Curry pointedly hugged each of her colleagues except for Lauer.)
Adds another show source: “They were really icy with each other . . . The body language between them has been extremely tense.”
A third set source observed of Curry’s goodbye: “It was like a funeral in a way.”
Meanwhile, all eyes are now on Savannah Guthrie — rumored to be Curry’s replacement. At the beginning of Friday morning’s broadcast, the 40-year-old sat in Curry’s seat alongside Lauer, but no formal announcement had yet been made.
Savannah was on hand as co-anchor this morning, and it’s believed that she has already signed a contract for the co-anchor position, although NBC has yet to make an official announcement. TMZ reports that NBC first went to Meredith Vieira, but she turned them down. So Savannah is the second choice, I guess. There will be a lot of armchair-quarterbacking on how this whole situation was handled, but I do think that Lauer’s reputation has been dinged (if not fractured completely), and NBC and NBC News in particular looks like a contingent of anti-woman bullies. One critical piece even refers to them as “A Confederacy of Dunces”.
Meanwhile, Lauer is already looking ahead to the Olympics, where it seems a time-honored tradition every two years for Lauer to pick up some strange (ALLEGEDLY). Lauer’s wife knows what’s up. So it’s really funny that Radar now says Annette is coming with Lauer to the London Olympics so she can make him wear a dude-chastity-belt:
Matt Lauer’s wife, Annette Roque will be traveling across the pond for the London Olympics with their three children, to keep tabs on her husband and his roving eye as he spends time in the city reporting on the upcoming games, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
“Annette and the kids will all be going to the Olympics so she can keep very close tabs on Matt,” a source close to the situation tells RadarOnline.com. “Matt and his family will be staying at a different hotel than the rest of the cast and crew. Annette generally doesn’t like to accompany Matt when he travels for work, but it’s the Olympics and the kids are very excited. It’s hard to travel with three kids and Annette enjoys spending the summer at their Hamptons mansion where they live full-time now but Annette has made it very clear the whole family will be heading to London. Annette has made no bones about the fact she will be keeping close tabs on Matt.”
Annette filed for divorce from Lauer when she was pregnant with their third child in 2006, but soon thereafter the couple reconciled, and the divorce petition was withdrawn.
Dear Annette: DIVORCE HIM. And leak all of the dirty details.
Photos courtesy of WENN.