It's no secret that The Today Show has pretty much been a disaster, behind-the-scenes and in the ratings alike, since Ann Curry was controversially sacked from the position of co-anchor last June, but finally, after all these months, Matt Lauer, otherwise known as the man long-rumored to be behind the decision to show her the door is speaking out about the entire ordeal!
And get this!
He's even admitting that it was all grossly mishandled!
However, don't get it twisted! He's not saying he was the one pushing for Curry's exit!
In fact, he was apparently even willing to resign, if NBC executives thought it would mean improvements in the ratings!
"It was a hard time for everybody. 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. We were seen as a family, and we didn't handle a family matter well. I’m not going to whine or get depressed. Who’s going to feel sorry for me? Nobody. I am the luckiest guy I know. In some ways being No. 2 in the ratings is a real shot in the arm, a kick in the pants. It makes you hungrier … I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have a fire lit under your ass…We're choosing more inspiring stories. It's a much more positive show, a more uplifting show. Much of the darkness is gone, by design."
And former NBC News President Steve Capus agrees:
“When Matt was informed that we had made this decision, his good counsel was to go slow, to take care of Ann, and to do the right things. He was quietly and publicly a supporter of Ann’s throughout the entire process. It is unfair that Matt has shouldered an undue amount of blame for a decision he disagreed with.”
Well, that certainly does synch up with reports that he was trying to get her out of her NBC contract so she could take a better position with CNN!
Maybe he wasn't gunning for her, after all!
Either way, given the amount of public backlash he's received, we're glad he's at least willing to discuss the situation candidly, and regardless his exact involvement in Ann's firing, it shows that he has a lot of integrity by accepting responsibility and clearing the air a bit!
It's about time!
Now here's hoping they can all put this whole mess behind them and focus on making The Today Show the best possible version of itself that it can be!
[Image via WENN.]