Key Player at NBC's 'Today' Exits the Show THR
NBC's morning show "Today" is losing one of its key players. The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed reports that senior producer Melissa Lonner, the show's top entertainment booker, is headed out.
The veteran producer, who has been responsible for booking "Today's" summer concert series, will exit by the end of the year, the piece reports, citing multiple sources.
"Lonner had been a senior producer and 'Today's' entertainment booker, tasked with securing Hollywood celebrities and A-list musical acts including Justin Bieber, Adele and Coldplay for the show's popular outdoor concerts at Rockefeller Center plaza," the story reports. "NBC News sources tell THR the decision was mutual. But a source close to Lonner said she opted not to renew her contract, which is up at the end of the year."
The booking department was restructured in 2012, the report notes, with Matt Zimmerman put in charge of the expanded, integrated booking group.
A spokesperson for "Today" declined comment for the story.
"Lonner's exit is the latest in a series of personnel and content changes for the once top-rated NBC morning show," the THR report notes. "Last summer, Rob George was tapped to become the show's director, replacing Joe Michaels, who had held the job for 18 years. Michaels was upped to senior director and assigned to oversee the show's redesigned studio, unveiled last September."
The report adds: "The show also has segued to an ensemble format and away from the traditional male-female co-host configuration with Al Roker, Willie Geist and Natalie Morales playing bigger roles although Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie remain the A anchors during the 7-9 a.m. hours."