Finding a replacement for Matt Lauer on “TODAY” could be harder than NBC execs thought if this latest behind-the-scenes rumor is true.
According to Page Six, Lauer’s rumored big ego on the set of “TODAY” may make it difficult to find a suitable replacement, as he allegedly sabotaged any other man who came on-set.
“Matt killed off, in their infancy, every man who could succeed him at the time that he was ready to hang it up. So there’s nobody to take his place. And now NBC is paying the price,” a source told the publication.
The gossip column reports that Lauer’s rumored behavior on set kept potential male replacements like Billy Bush (before the “Access Hollywood” scandal), Josh Elliott and David Gregory from ever getting to the top. It is rumored that “Weekend Today” anchor Craig Melvin may be the front runner at this time.
Lauer made headlines on Nov. 29 after he was suddenly fired from NBC after a female colleague came forward with a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” C0-anchor Savannah Guthrie was joined by Hoda Kotb for the broadcast that morning as she reacted to the news live to viewers at home.
“I’m sure we will be learning more details as the hours and days come. We promise we will share that with you. All we can say is we are heartbroken. We are heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many people here. And, I am heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward with her story and any women who have their own stories to tell,” Guthrie said at the time.
Since Lauer’s dismissal, Kotb has been filing in on the show which leads some to speculate a suitable replacement for Lauer would be a woman. CBS has brought on Bianna Gologryga as the fill-in anchor on “CBS This Morning” after Charlie Rose was fired. “Face the Nation” moderator John Dickerson is reportedly on-deck to fill in next week.
Insiders close to “TODAY” reportedly said that new addition Megyn Kelly would not be tapped for the job, as she recently had the “worst November sweeps ratings of any in the history of the 9 a.m. hour of ‘Today,'” reported Page Six. Insiders close to Kelly said that she does not want to make a move over to the first hour.
Kotb will reportedly continue to fill in in the short term.