Today Show staff hates Matt Lauer, want him replaced with Lester Holt

We know that Al Roker can’t stand Matt Lauer, because he pretty much said – on air – that Matt threw Ann Curry under the bus by having her fired. Well it turns out that a lot of other people who work at The Today Show also hate Matt Lauer and think he’s dragging the show down. Radar has run several insider stories recently about The Today Show, which has flailed in the ratings and is now being bested by Good Morning America. They claim that some of the producers and most of the staff want “Diva” Matt Lauer gone, because he’s difficult to work with and will stab you in the back. Here’s more:

“Staffers and producers at the TODAY show hold Matt Lauer responsible for the continued decline in the ratings because they hold him responsible for Ann Curry being fired,” a source close to the situation tells Radar. “The staff wants Ann to be brought back and want Matt replaced with Lester Holt, but they know the odds of this happening are slim to none, because executives at the network have no interaction whatsoever with the TODAY show staff.

“Lester, like Ann, is very respected by the staff and is always a true class act. If Lester had been in Matt’s shoes he never would have told the executive producer and honchos at NBC to fire Ann. Lester and Ann report the news, period, and don’t engage in backstabbing antics…

“Matt is absolutely standing by Savannah despite the fact that Good Morning America has routinely been beating the TODAY show in the ratings,” a source previously told Radar. “Matt believes that the audience just needs to get comfortable and familiar with Savannah and viewers will return to the show that had been counted on by the execs at NBC as ratings gold. Matt, Savannah and fellow cast member Natalie Morales are all extremely close and have been referred to as the Three Musketeers. They often go to press movie screenings and can often be found in Matt’s office discussing stories and just goofing off. Matt has a very adoring female fan club in Natalie and Savannah.”

Meanwhile, Good Morning America has beaten TODAY in the first full week after the Olympics, rocking numbers of 4.654 million over TODAY’s 4.399 million, according to ratings released on Thursday.

[From Radar]

So Matt, Savannah and Natalie Morales are thick as thieves and the staff is calling them “the Three Musketeers”? That makes Savannah’s promotion suspect, especially when you consider the rumors that Natalie was/is sleeping with Matt, but that she got passed up for co-anchor because Matt’s wife put her foot down about it.

About two weeks ago, Radar had a similar story about strife on set, with the news that there are longterm producers of the show who want Lauer fired. These are probably some of the same staffers mentioned in the newer article above, and Radar is likely getting this from the same source.

“There are several producers that have been with the TODAY Show for a very long time, over ten years, and Matt Lauer is now hated by them because they feel that he is responsible for Ann Curry’s being fired. Ann was tremendously popular with the producers, cameramen, and other staffers of the show because she truly is a team player. Ann was all about the news, and breaking stories, just a true pro,” a source close to the situation tells us.

“Matt on the other hand has been known to act like a real diva. The staffers are disgruntled because they were looking forward to working with Ann during the Olympics and she ended up relegated to very limited camera time and didn’t even appear until several days before the games ended,” the source says.

[From Radar]

As the article mentions, I doubt that Lauer will get canned anytime soon – he’s been with The Today Show too long. Plus they need continuity after ditching Ann and replacing her with Savannah. I don’t think the problem is Savannah by any means, it just sounds like no one at The Today Show is getting along, and that they’re not producing segments that are entertaining enough to draw ratings. People behind the scenes aren’t motivated to be at the top of their game when upper level management plays favorites and treats people poorly. At least there are still people there who are respected by staff, like Holt and probably Roker.

Meanwhile, remember that poorly-timed interview that Ann Curry gave just prior to the announcement that she was being “reassigned” at NBC or basically phased out, as we’ve come to find out? Ann told Ladies Home Journal that she was criticized by Today producers for not dyeing her hair and for wearing clothes that were too bright and not feminine enough. Well she got a severe talking-to by “several high ranking NBC executives.” Radar’s source claims that “They didn’t rake her over the coals for her comments, but the message was definitely clear… no more negative comments about the network.” Because the network can say whatever it wants about Curry, but she better not defend herself.

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78 Responses to “Today Show staff hates Matt Lauer, want him replaced with Lester Holt”

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  1. ladybert62 says:

    YES! I love Lester Holt!!!

  2. Esmom says:

    Lester Holt is about as bland as dry toast. I can’t imagine he’d do much to improve things.

    • JudyK says:

      Lester Holt bland? I think he’s full of class and charisma. LOVE HIM.

    • Birdix says:

      He’s subtle, not flashy, but even he can laugh at himself for being a bit stiff on camera. But he works hard and has a true passion for news.

    • Chicagogurl17 says:

      Love me some Les! Of course, I speak for many Chicagoans when I say, Lester is not dry toast. He can be extremely funny, but he puts reporting and being a class act first. I doubt this is a fun environment. When he moved from Chicago to doing Today segments, you could tell he was initially nervous. Now, you can tell he’s trying to take the high road and “just do his job”.

      • mayamae says:

        I’m a transplant from the Chicago area and I adore Lester Holt. I love his voice. Even if some think Lester will be boring – who knows? Who would have thought that George Stephanopoulos could kick back and have fun?

    • Esmom says:

      I should clarify that I didn’t mean it as negatively as it came off, sorry. I appreciate his gravitas, which is becoming increasingly rare. I just don’t think he has the kind of spark for “infotainment.” In my book that’s not a bad thing.

      • mel2 says:

        Lester Holt is boring like the royal family (minus Harry) but I believe the reason viewers are jumping ship is because there’s no chemistry on the Today show, so I’m supporting Good Morning America.

    • cubbyBear says:

      I think I speak for most Chicagoans: Lester Holt is B-O-R-I-N-G. How he made it to the national scene will never know. He may well be a very nice person – look, his young son is somehow anchoring NBC affiliate news program here in Chicago, Chip off the old block: might be nice, but no media wow factor. Just sayin’

  3. nina says:

    wow, matt is not aging well at all.

  4. Chatcat says:

    This is what happens when the wheels fall off the cart. NBC as a whole has been in decline for years, that is not because of Matt Lauer, but because the peeps running the network let the idiots like Matt Lauer run amuck and the result are never good (obviously).

  5. Genevieve says:

    What a D-bag.

    I have to try and hold on to my belief that karma will come in to play where Lauer’s concerned.

    He’s been a serial cheater for years, perpetually acts like a diva, and he’ll apparently throw your a$$ under the bus in a skinny minute.

    Eventually, there is usually retribution for guys like this. While I’ve always been a GMA girl, I genuinely like Ann Curry. IMHO, the state of Matt Lauer’s hair is already clear evidence that somebody up there doesn’t like him πŸ˜‰

  6. KittyCal says:

    “Al threw Ann Curry under the bus” Huh?

  7. brin says:

    Awww, you mean the “Today Show family” is on the outs?

  8. Justaposter says:

    I am old enough to remember when Matt was actually hot..

    *drags old lady bones from computer to go power walking at the mall*

  9. elllie66 says:

    Ugg Matt Lauer is the biggest douchie-douchebag ever! I love Al Roker though but dont watch the show because of the douchebag!

  10. Nan209 says:

    I can’t stand Lauer. Such a toad.

  11. lucy2 says:

    They won’t fire Matt, not while he’s under contract – I bet his payout would be HUGE.

    Nice try by his PR team though, trying to make them all sound buddy buddy.

  12. TheOriginalKitten says:

    I don’t miss Ann Curry a bit. Sorry.
    Not wild about Savannah though either.

    I think NBC should worry more about the Today Show being a credible news outlet and stop running fluff instead of worrying about the quality/effectiveness of the talking heads they hire.

    • Birdix says:

      They really don’t realize that it’s the emphasis on the ridiculous (tanning mom, chimp ate my face woman) at the expense of thoughtful news coverage that is losing them viewers.

      • Kelly says:

        I agree completely! I stopped watching because of the sheer number of stories that had originated as YouTube clips. (“Did you realize this clip of your bulldog getting the hiccups was going to get a million hits? Had he done this before or did you just get lucky and catch it this time? Next, we’ll meet Frenchie and see if we can get him to hiccup. Or cough. Or sneeze. Whatever.”)

        I mean, I know it’s just a morning show, but come on, it’s also an election year.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        YES! The youtube clips and the effin’ Waitie/Royal coverage was the tipping point for me. It was always bad but it has gotten exponentially worse the past 5 years or so.

        Then the Olympic sh*t, the Call Me Maybe crap, ugh..they treat their viewers like complete morons, or maybe just like 13-year-olds. They get what they deserve with sagging ratings. SIT DOWN, Today Show.

      • lucy2 says:

        Completely agree. I bailed when they spent forever going over every minute of Michael Jackson’s life, house, family, etc, and then again when it was all Kate Gosslin and Octomom, and I never went back to being a regular viewer.

      • Deven says:

        NBC has acted for years that people don’t like hard news in the morning…not cooking, not video clips, not standing around in the street, not animal acts, etc. The people who run the network don’t appear to know how to act in their own best interest…the inmates are running the asylum and it really shows. Lauer and others get megabucks yet doing good-quality work seems to have nothing to do with it. What a racket!

    • Chatcat says:


      Yes, back at work is a drag. Why didn’t I hit the Powerball damn it!

      Over the last few years I have rarely watched network television, I am a cable junkie, which includes my news and morning program, so I wouldn’t miss any of them because I don’t watch any of them. But I do like Ann Curry when I’ve seen her do a certain interviews or coverage that I do see of her on Discover ID or Dateline that appears on a cable channel. I don’t know if I could do a daily dose in the morning though.

      • TheOriginalKitten says:

        Hi Chat! It’s great to have you back πŸ™‚

        Yeah I agree with you about TV in general. It’s so much trash. I don’t have cable but I try to watch the QUALITY shows I love online (if I can get them). I put the Today show on every morning while I’m in the bathroom drying my hair and getting ready for work. It’s just background noise for me at this point. You know a show royally sucks when you’re not even remotely compelled to WATCH it. Ugh.

      • Chatcat says:

        Kit…I missed you too! πŸ™‚

        Yes, as soon as I get up I turn on the tube (bad habit I know) but I need that background noise as well, I do either Fox or CNN, but don’t pay any particular attention unless it is a big news story or something of the entertainment that is going to make me smile and laugh for the day~

  13. ladybert62 says:

    YES! I love Lesther Holt.

  14. Brat says:

    Savannah bothers me. I think it may be that she doesn’t have lips. I just think is weird.

    • stinky says:

      it’s her voice that you can’t stand… its her shrill voice that annoys me, i mean YOU!! haha!!

  15. Andy says:

    Tom Cruise wins!!!

    Seriously, I like Lester and think he will be a big improvement over Matt.

  16. shannon says:

    Been the victim of newsroom douchery, although nowhere near this level … for what it’s worth (nothing) drop Lauer like he’s hot (which he’s not, but still). Bring back Ann, and shut your piehole about her hair, clothes, etc.

    Even if they don’t bring back Ann, PLEASE drop this assclown Lauer!! Roker FTW!

  17. patata says:

    Once, I was on a bus in Rome on a little street going from Largo Argentina towards Piazza Venezia when I saw Lester Holt… I then said to myself, “hey self, that’s Lester Holt” πŸ™‚

  18. pia says:

    Can anyone stand Matt Lauer?? Get him off the air!

  19. Elizabeth says:

    Everyone sees through Matt Lauer’s nice guy act.

  20. Bellabumbum says:

    Never a huge Ann fan, but I’ve been boycotting since Ann was reassigned to stick it to Lauer. He always bullied and mocked her on the show. Going back to Katie Couric time.

    The only time I liked Matt was when he was sitting across from Tom Cruise, defending Brook Shields and not letting Cruise run away with the interview.

    Lester is a smooth talking professional news man and knows how to wear a suit. Damn. He’s got women of every age and color coming out of the wood work to ogle him, he appeals to so many people because he is classy and can laugh at himself. Love Lester

  21. Feebee says:

    Love the first pic. It really does speak volumes. Matt and Al are having a moment and Savannah is oblivious. Though the fact that Matt and Al are having a moment is the interesting thing.

  22. Dibba says:

    Obviously the top executives at NBC are totally inept and out of touch. Interesting to see how this plays out. I think their criticism of Ann basically not being sexy enough is enough to make be boycott the network all together. Turns my stomach how sexist the world still is. I’ve always found Lauer insufferable and those morning shows in general unbearable. So much for the liberal media.

  23. OXA says:

    I very rarely watched the Today Show because I could not stand Matt Lauer, from day one he made my skin crawl.
    NBC rewarded him with a huge salary increase plus say over who co-hosts. Katie Couric said he used to pinch her butt all the time, how is that acceptable behaviour and why was NBC allowing him to sexually harrass the female staff instead of firing him?

  24. booboocita says:

    I used to watch Today years ago, when Bryant Gumbel was the unflappable lead host with gravitas, Katie Couric was the spunky reporter on her way to the top, equally at ease with heads of state and child stars, and Matt Lauer was the eye candy (back when he had a full head of hair) who did fluff pieces like vacation spots and cooking segments. Bryant left, Katie left, and the only one left in the pool was Matt, who never had the intellectual heft of either Bryant or Katie. You can mess a bit with the co-anchors, but if the lead anchor of a morning show doesn’t command some respect, the whole thing falls apart. No wonder GMA is kicking Today’s butt.

  25. Skins says:

    I don’t think too many people wake up in the morning and say “Gee, I want to see Matt Lauer, let me tune into the Today Show” He is just another talking head and a very replaceable one at that. Not to mention a total tool. See you later Matt

  26. Noelle says:

    Agreed! Our entire household hates Matt Lauer and Savannah. Not only is Savannah annoying and not a particularly good journalist or interviewer .. but having no top lip + big gums is really distracting for a tv face.

    Lester Holt, Ann Curry, and Al Roker are so much more likeable. I can’t watch the show anymore because of Matt and Savannah.

    • LeslieM says:

      I was shocked when they let Ann Curry go. This was a a ridiculous rash move on NBC’s part. ABC’s recent take over is a based on the fact the revamped the whole show and hired the blond, I can’t remember her name, and Josh. When I first saw that new format I hated it but now I see it works brilliantly. Lester Holt is no Matt Lauer so that would be a disaster. I didn’t get the choice of Savannah Guthery but I think it’s going to work. Teams that really love each other put on a great show. I think it will work.

  27. Sunnyinseattle says:

    I switched long before they fired Ann. ButI sometimes would switch during commercials because I hate commercials. Not anymore. Since they fired Ann, I will gladly sit thru tampon commercials rather than give them even a second of my time. What they did to her was beyond horrible. As far as Matt, he is that guy in high school who thought he was better than everyone, all the girls wanted to date and all the guys wanted to be. Then you see him at your high school reuinon and he still holds himself in high standards but everyone finally seea him for the douch is and always was. He will never change his opinon of himself though. Haha. Total dork. πŸ˜€

  28. Dibba says:

    I am sure Lauer is liked by the top brass not because of his skill but because of his ability to suck up to them and stroke their egos and not threaten them. Not really a way to make decisions at a network, or anywhere, but happens all the time at every work place. Lauer is a good example of the Peter Principle. Its really the top brass’s fault and the board should look to shake them up. They obviously have fallen down on the job and cannot be trusted to make good decisions for the network.

  29. stinky says:

    OK – so i just went back and watched the Roker-jab clip, and Savannah was wearing a black dress that day…. So, this means that Matt is giving Al the shank-eye (above) on an entirely different day altogether (heh-heh)
    Watch your back Al. You can see it in his eyes… cant trust dat!

  30. barb says:

    do not like Matt Lauer at all
    love Lester

  31. Ann Curry says:

    Bring Katie Couric back!
    Matt will feel like the little brother again

  32. bea says:

    Lester Holt and Ann Curry would make an excellent pair and would change that show from a bunch of fluff to a real news show.

    Move Matt and Savannah and the rest to join those to wasted chicks at 10 a.m. to talk about diets and pets.

  33. the original bellaluna says:

    The Today Show (and its staff) is being crushed under the weight of Matt’s super-inflated ego.

    NBC as a whole is being crushed by its out-of-touch head honchos and THEIR egos.

    The combination is killing viewership across the board.

    For instance, due to the way NBC unceremoniously axed Ann, and their piss-poor Olympic coverage (along with the Blowhard’s condescending commentary), I actually chose not to watch the Olympics on NBC this year. If I simply MUST watch an NBC show (SVU is a must!) I’ll stream it from another source online.

  34. rumbleseat says:

    Umm wait, one show is getting 4.56 million viewers and the other is getting 4.399 million and this is a large enough discrepancy that the execs are taking tranquilizers over it and pondering who to fire? And by all means fire Matt.

  35. Lacie says:

    Who cares about Matt Lauer? Fire the stylist who does the women’s hair.

  36. Gal says:

    I stopped watching Today when Ann stepped up after Meredith left. I had watched the show for about 30+ years. I do not miss Ann at all. I hated her interviews. I don’t even have a problem with Matt. They should’ve chosen Natalie. But if this nonsense is true, I might have to re-think my stance on Matt and the show. I do love Les and Al!

    • anne says:

      I am right with you. Never cared for Ann’s interviewing and news reporting style. I miss Meredith and PLEASE don’t bring Katie back. But I really don’t care any more because I’ve switched to Good Morning America.

  37. Rux says:

    I cannot stand Laeur, he is the reason I changed my morning programming to GMA. I like Al though; they should center the show around him.

  38. Marie Antoinette Jr. says:

    I stoppped watching because of the way Matt Lauer treated Ann Curry on her last day–all touchy/feely with fake admiration and compassion. I wanted to punch him and I’m sure she did too.

    But really I probably would have quit that show eventually anyway. I can’t stand all the outside standing around and chatting nonsense. It’s so annoying it actually gives me a touch of anxiety. It is cringe worthy.

  39. Loulou says:

    Matt Lauer is not aging well. I don’t watch early morning shows but in terms of appeal, that man has none. He doesn’t have the class of a Peter Jennings or the brain of George ….? His tacky affair stinks up the air too and the Ann Curry thing is the last straw. He has hurt his own brand. Off with the head!

  40. gee_gee says:

    I feel sorry for Savannah Guthrie. That woman has the most unfortunate tooth-to-upper-lip ratio I have seen in a long time.

  41. Jinko says:

    I enjoy Lester Holt, and have never liked Matt Lauer.

  42. Pixiestix says:

    I knew Lester Holt during his CBS Chicago days — a wonderful man & true professional. I was so happy he got the Weekend Today & Nightly News gigs. It’s so heart-warming to see good people get ahead.

  43. Allie May says:

    Nothing against Matt Lauer, but for God’s Sake, with the money he must rake in -can’t he do something about the long, sad face and creepy forehead wrinkles? A few sessions of microdermabrasion could do wonders.
    If the public is going to continue to be subjected to his face for the timebeing, at least freshen it up!

  44. gab says:

    I hate being talked down to by the Today show “teleprompter readers.” Before 9/11 I watched the Today show. Shortly after 9/11 I turned off the news on tv and started to pick the news I read online. If I occasionally see any of the morning shows I can’t stand to have it on longer than a few minutes. These shows typically try to cover so much information in such a short period of time that you have more questions about the subject than before the segment. It’s trite coverage and they don’t do enough research before presenting anything.
    So, I don’t care for the Today show format. I get what I need online without having to sit through any of the polite greetings and b.s. two minute “in depth interviews.”
    Would be very happy to see Lauer hoist on his own petard.

  45. Addison DeWitt says:

    Just who are these people that watch these morning shows? Right after Fox and Friends, I turn off the TV and don’t turn it on again until it’s time for The Five on Fox. (unless I am watching something on TCM)