Matt Lauer reportedly wanted crisis experts brought into NBC to help deal with the bad press streaming in after the firing of Ann Curry.
Sources said the network refused Lauer’s request for a public relations team specialized in spinning bad situations, leaving the Today host to “take matters into his own hands.”
“Matt’s wanted to bring in an outside p.r. agency,” a source close to the morning show told the New York Post. “He lost faith and has wanted a crisis team in place. Since they haven’t hired an outside agency, he’s taking matters into his own hands.”
But another source said some people at NBC were in agreement with Matt Lauer about the need for crisis experts.
“They were looking for [outside firms] in the fall,” the source said. “But it was a case of the higher-ups at Comcast not wanting to bring someone in.”
A public relations expert contacted by the Post said NBC badly mishandled split between Matt Lauer and Ann Curry, who was forced off the show.
“Matt should be seen as a much more sympathetic figure,” the expert said. “They’ve made some real mistakes, obvious ones, and they have no plan. As soon as you become the highest-paid anchor, you have a target on your tush.”
In the absence of crisis experts, Matt Lauer has been trying to garner public favor — or at least jump on the bandwagon of hate against him. At the JA Federation of New York’s Broadcast Cable & Film Division event earlier this month to honor Bloomberg Media Group CEO Andrew Lack, Lauer took a chance to joke about the bad situation at the Today show.
“If you’ve been following the papers lately, you know it’s been a bit rough for me,” he said, adding, “These days, I only get asked to host dinners if polio is busy. Yup, I have a lower Q rating than polio right now.”
At least Matt Lauer doesn’t need crisis experts to make light of his situation.