NBC News Group chairman Patricia Fili-Krushel gives a wide-ranging interview to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Marisa Guthrie. She answers questions on MSNBC’s ratings, the now canceled Hillary Clinton miniseries project and Matt Lauer’s future at the “Today” show:
Before he signed his contract in 2012, Matt Lauer explored doing daytime with Katie Couric and jumping to ABC News. If he did not want to stay on Today, would he still have a place at NBC News?
Absolutely. He is arguably the most talented interviewer across the morning television scene — there is no one like him. That’s a grueling time period — it’s a lot of television. It’s a lot of prep, and Matt really preps. We hope he wants to last out at least this contract on the Today show. But there’s a place for him not only at NBC News but also at the company.
Do you want him to stay on Today after his contract is up in 2015?
I’d keep Matt Lauer as long as he wants to stay on the Today show.
Do MSNBC’s ratings dips during slow political news cycles worry you?[MSNBC president] Phil Griffin and I have talked a lot about how it’s a balancing act: Viewers are coming for MSNBC’s personalities, and CNN definitely gets the bump during breaking news. But we have to play in both spaces. When Phil was quoted as saying we don’t do breaking news, I know if he could have [taken it back], he would have.