REPORT: LAUER OPPOSED REPLACING ANNE CURRY
Not only did Matt Lauer not demand that Ann Curry be replaced on the Today show, as some reports had indicated, but he also insists in an interview with Howard Kurtz in TheDailyBeast.com that he opposed the decision to remove her. “I don’t think the show and the network handled the transition well. You don’t have to be Einstein to know that,” Lauer said in the interview. “It clearly did not help us. We were seen as a family, and we didn’t handle a family matter well.” In the same report NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke disclosed that in the wake of the controversy following Curry’s departure — and the subsequent cratering of the show’s ratings — Lauer offered to resign. And former NBC News President Steve Capus, who has acknowledged that the decision to remove Curry was his, told Kurtz: “It is unfair that Matt has shouldered an undue amount of blame for a decision he disagreed with.” Surprisingly, the article also reveals that before Curry became co-host of Today, Lauer approached Katie Couric about returning to the show and that Couric was receptive to the idea. The two reportedly discussed co-hosting Today until they could do a syndicated show together. However, Kurtz reports, the plan fell apart after Burke rejected it on the grounds that the syndicated show would be too expensive for NBC to produce.