Natalie Morales Leaves 'Today Show'? Matt Lauer's Popularity Tanks Over Rumor

Patrick Frye

Will NBC has Natalie Morales fired from the Today Show and moved to Dateline as Matt Lauer allegedly wishes? This rumor has been denied multiple times by NBC officials, but Lauer's popularity seems to be tanking, regardless.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, the idea that Natalie Morales may be shifted over to a new position is total "hog wash" according to sources within the Today Show.

"This is all hogwash," a senior Today Show source said. "Natalie is beloved by the staff and millions of fans. It's pretty obvious this vicious rumor is being spread by a competitor nervous that we have won a week in the demo and are moving toward regaining our place as the number one morning show."

The original Today Show rumor claimed Morales was facing the axe man, but she was also supposedly being told this would move was really a promotion in disguise.

"They'll try to position this as a 'promotion' for Natalie — but make no mistake, she's not happy," said an unnamed source, who also claimed Matt Lauer was responsible for the idea since he supposedly prefers Hoda Kotb for the 7 to 9 a.m. newsreader position.

Fans of the show do not believe the rumor is completely "hog wash" and instead they are calling for NBC to have Matt Lauer fired.

"The network doth protest too much, me thinks. Every time a female anchor butts heads with the 'Mighty Matt' they are moved or fired. If the one constant in all your problems is one, that one should be removed. They really need to rid the Today show of Matt Lauer."

Steve Burke, the chief executive of NBC Universal, recalls that Lauer even offered to leave the show himself after the Curry incident.

"If you think the show's better off without me, let me know, and I'll get out of the way," Burke recalled Lauer saying, but the NBC CEO wouldn't let him leave. "You're the best person who's ever done this. We'll get through this."

It's claimed by NBC officials that Lauer actually quietly supported Curry and it was said he urged his bosses to slow down the process of removing her from the Today Show.

"It was a hard time for everybody," Lauer said back in 2013 when he was interviewed by The Daily Beast. "We were getting kicked around a lot. Some of it was self-inflicted and perhaps deserved. I don't think the show and the network handled the transition well. You don't have to be Einstein to know that. It clearly did not help us. We were seen as a family, and we didn't handle a family matter well."

In an interview with Esquire, Lauer also said he was frustrated by how such rumors would be repeated by other media outlets.

"The way the media treated what happened with Ann Curry was a disappointing learning experience. I was disappointed by the laziness of the media, the willingness to read a rumor, repeat that rumor, and treat it as a fact."
"I stopped watching 'Today' when they did the same thing to Ann Curry and supposedly Matt Lauer had something to do with that mess too! He's the one that needs to be fired! Boring and arrogant! Don't tell us its all hogwash NBC.... something is going on or there wouldn't have been a story leaked about it in the first place!"

[Image via TMZ]