Ugh, Matt Lauer. His name is synonymous with the most watered-down, sound-bite news on this planet.
And he appears to be pretty darn catty as well.
NBC chairman Andy Lack wooed Megyn Kelly away from Fox News to NBC. He believed, regardless of her association with a more conservative news broadcast, that her star power would equal high ratings for NBC.
She is making $15 million at NBC — $10 million less than she was offered to stay at Fox.
But Lauer is not convinced that this move is a good one, especially for NBC.
He works from an environment of scarcity and turns on anyone that he believes will take his piece of the pie (when in reality there is certainly enough pie to go around, Mr. Lauer).
After all, many believed he helped orchestrate his former co-anchor Ann Curry’s demise.
According to Page Six:
While Megyn Kelly’s had a rocky start to her hour of “Today,” co-star Matt Lauer doesn’t seem to be defending her.
When an industry insider remarked to Lauer last week that celebrities are being advised to avoid Kelly’s “Megyn Kelly Today” — amid ratings struggles and awkward snafus with famous guests — a Page Six spy overheard Lauer reply that he “gets it,” adding, “It’s a big problem for them,” meaning Kelly’s show. Insiders were stunned that the veteran “Today” host didn’t try to defend his new colleague.
That actually doesn’t surprise me one bit.
You don’t make it twenty long years in morning television without looking out for number one — at any cost.
Not only is Lauer surviving, he is thriving. Under his current contract, he is making 25 million dollars a year.
But we also can’t blame Lauer for Kelly’s ratings, which are incredibly low.
We’re told publicists have been steering their clients to other shows, partly because of Kelly’s ailing ratings and partly because of the dust-ups with Jane Fonda and Debra Messing. In September — just two days into her run as host of the 9 a.m. hour of “Today” — Kelly upset Fonda by bringing up the actress’ plastic surgery past.
Messing said that she “regretted” appearing on the show after an awkward moment during which Kelly asked a “superfan” audience member, “Is it true that you became a lawyer, and you became gay, because of [co-star Eric McCormack’s character] Will?”
Just look at these snippets of her show.
It appears celebrities are avoiding Kelly to distance themselves from potential awkwardness.
Does Kelly need some time to establish herself?
Has NBC provided everything she needs to be successful?
Vanity Fair reported on NBC Morning News at great length, providing both the history of Matt Lauer’s tenure and Megyn Kelly’s successful career thus far. What do they say?
Coming from rightward-leaning Fox, Kelly might be seen as an effort by NBC to come to terms with life in a Donald Trump era. She is not overtly or inevitably a challenge to Lauer—perhaps she will prove a complement.
More to the point, though, Kelly represents a literal doubling down on the proposition that, when it comes to a successful news operation, personality is what counts, and everything else must accommodate itself to that reality.
How that will translate into what we see on TV remains to be seen, but one fact can’t be argued with: there used to be only one person at NBC News who was too big to fail. Now there are two.
When push comes to shove, do you think Megyn Kelly will survive on NBC?