NBC’s morning show “TODAY” is thriving in the wake of disgraced host Matt Lauer’s departure after several sexual misconduct allegations.
“TODAY” has beaten its main rival — ABC’s “Good Morning America” — for two consecutive weeks since NBC decided to part ways the veteran anchor, Variety reports.
“TODAY” averaged almost 4.58 million total viewers last week, compared to the 4.38 racked up by “GMA” in the 7-9 a.m. time slot.
It’s the first time that “TODAY” has beaten “GMA” in back-to-back weeks since December 2016.
The success comes a few weeks after a report in Us Weekly suggested that a “really terrible vibe” had swept over “TODAY” in the immediate aftermath of Lauer’s firing.
“Savannah [Guthrie] is devastated,” an insider told the magazine. “She and Matt were really close.”
On the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 29, NBC News chairman Andrew Lack sent an email to staffers saying Lauer had been fired following a complaint of “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.”
Lack continued, “We were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”
In the wake of the news, Lauer released a statement in which he addressed the allegations against him.
“There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have cause others by words and actions,” Lauer said in the statement. “The last two days have forced me to take a hard look at my own flaws.”
Apparently, many of Lauer’s co-workers were surprised by the news. “They knew Matt was flirty and playful and may have had relationships over the years, but what they knew of those relationships was that they were consensual, and they weren’t aware they went beyond that,” the source told Us.
Lauer himself was said to be struggling. A recent report in PEOPLE suggested that may never bounce back from the fiasco.
“He is weak and broken and ashamed by his own admission,” one of Lauer’s former “TODAY” colleagues told PEOPLE.
“He is my friend,” the source adds. “He is human, and he is flawed. But is he going to use his power to be a predator on women? Until I see solid evidence of that, I just can’t believe it. We don’t know the details.”
An insider told Page Six that since he was fired, NBC has been trying to completely erase Lauer from their history.
“Matt’s office is being completely demolished,” a source told the website. “Everything is going, including that button under his desk, his nameplate, the photos of him in the hallways, the pictures of him online and on NBC News social media. They are so sickened by his behavior, it is almost like they want to pretend he never existed.”