Since NBC fired Today Show anchor Matt Lauer last week after alleged sexual misconduct with co-workers, no clear replacement has emerged, and it’s all because of Lauer’s long-running jealousy over potential rivals. Industry insiders say that Lauer was so ruthless in maintaining his job that he sabotaged every possible man that could take his place. Now, the network has a succession crisis, and no one knows how long it will take them to find the right person to fill Lauer’s empty chair.
Lauer Made Sure There Was No One To Take His Place
Page Six is reporting that during Lauer’s 20-year run on the popular morning show, he maneuvered to ensure the network wouldn’t groom anyone for his gig.
“Matt killed off, in their infancy, every man who could succeed him at the time that he was ready to hang it up — so there’s nobody to take his place. And now NBC is paying the price,” says the Page Six source.
According to The Hollywood Gossip, Lauer had been on the hot seat for years because of falling ratings, his huge contract, and his bad attitude. He was aware of these rumors and decided to make it difficult for NBC to get rid of him.
Matt Lauer Sabotaged These Potential Heirs
The ousted anchor made sure potential heirs such as David Gregory, Billy Bush, and Josh Elliott never got a chance for the coveted job. Now, as a result, NBC is considering Today weekend anchor Craig Melvin as Lauer’s permanent replacement.
But, at least one NBC executive isn’t excited about that possibility, saying he “couldn’t pick him out of a lineup,” which means that just because Melvin is the possible front-runner, doesn’t mean he will fill Lauer’s seat.
What About Megyn Kelly?
Meanwhile, new-hire Megyn Kelly is also not a viable option, even though NBC is paying her $23 million a year. Her ratings at 9 a.m. have been disastrous since she started in September, and during the recent November sweeps, she scored the lowest numbers in the history of the show for that hour in every demo.
Multiple sources claim that NBC is not considering Kelly for the job, and she isn’t even interested. Instead, she is working on growing her audience in the 9 o’clock hour.
Another possible replacement could be Willie Geist, who currently hosts Sunday Today and has filled in for Lauer many times in the past. Per AOL, the rumor around the Today Show office is that Geist will get the job.
Until the network hires a replacement, Hoda Kotb will continue to fill-in for the short-term, but she is not considered to be a serious candidate to take over Matt Lauer’s job permanently.