Sources say Matt Lauer could be gone from The TODAY Show by February if ratings don't take a drastic turn between now and then. The TODAY Show has lost out to Good Morning America by huge numbers ever since Ann Curry was fired this past summer. Lauer's popularity has waned significantly since that time, with most believing that is due to his hand in Curry's firing.
According to a report from RadarOnline, news exec Alexandra Wallace has made it perfectly clear that if things don't improve significantly that Lauer will kiss the show goodbye in February.
"The TODAY Show has always been considered a cash cow for the network. It dominated the morning news ratings for years and brought in millions of dollars and revenue," a source says. "But, if viewers continue preferring Good Morning America over the TODAY show that revenue will decrease and cuts will have to be made."
A replacement is already being groomed for Matt's position.
"The replacement is likely to be Willie Geist. He has been wildly popular with viewers and the crew since he was named co-host of the third hour of the show," the source says.
Lauer is under contract with TODAY to the tune of $25 million per year, but Wallace says if he isn't drawing in the viewers before February she'll have no choice but to let him go.
Are you surprised to learn that NBC is planning to take this kind of drastic action to protect The TODAY Show in the ratings war against Good Morning America? Have you had a chance to catch Willie Geist as the third-hour co-host? Do you think he has what it takes to move The TODAY Show back into the number one spot if and when Matt Lauer is fired?
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