NY Times: Matt Lauer At Root Of ‘Today’ Issues

By Alex Weprin 

NBC “Today” co-anchor Matt Lauer spoke out about the Ann Curry incident earlier this week for the first time. Today, the New York TimesBrian Stelter reports that contrary to some of the reporting in The Daily Beast, Lauer has been fingered as one of the causes behind “Today'”s ratings decline. Stelter, of course is writing a book about the morning show wars called Top of the Morning, which will be released April 23.

“What matters most is the anchor connection to the audience; what we need to work on is the connection.” As the word “connection” was repeated, some people in the room started to chuckle because of a name that went unspoken: Matt Lauer.

“What they meant was Matt. But no one would say it,” said a senior staff member who, like the others, spoke on condition of anonymity.

Lauer’s Q-Score has dropped precipitously since Curry left the program. Right now the fix seems to be to repair Matt’s image, though there is another option in play:

What NBC may do next, according to outsiders contacted by the network, is add another cast member to “Today.” Even if the person appeared only on the 9 a.m. hour, which Mr. Lauer is not a part of, such an addition would make “Today” more of an ensemble show, seemingly less dependent on his star power.