It’s been three months since Ann Curry was forced to leave NBC’s “Today” show, but the network is still dealing with the fallout.
The show’s executive producer, Jim Bell, appears to be on a mission to repair damage done to the show and its current host, Matt Lauer, after Curry’s messy departure. In recent days, Bell has granted interviews with The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter, and Curry has been the main topic of conversation.
In the interviews, Bell continues to defend the decision to replace Curry with Savannah Guthrie, and he repeatedly denies rumors that Lauer had made firing Curry a condition of his contract renewal.
“It was definitely not Matt’s call,” Bell told the Times’ Bill Carter. “He is the host and does not have management responsibility. It was not his call. That was my call.”
The interviews may be in response to reports that the “Today” show has constituently lost viewers since Curry’s departure. Radar Online also reported over the weekend that Lauer’s popularity has taken a hit, and The New York Daily News reported Monday that Lauer may soon have to take a pay cut to his $25 million salary due to the ratings drop. (more...)