With the ratings problems "The Today Show" has, is Matt Lauer long for the program?
"The Today Show" was responsible for roughly half a billion dollars in revenue in 2011," writes Brian Stelter in The New York Times, adding, "That total dipped by at least $50 million in 2012, according to industry estimates, as ‘Good Morning America’ capitalized on the show’s stumbles."
Elsewhere in his piece Stelter writes, "Last April, Mr. Lauer signed a contract said to be worth $25 million a year, the most lucrative deal in the 60-year history of morning television. And then the bottom fell out.
"The following week, ‘Today’ fell to second place in the morning ratings for the first time in 16 years. When his co-host, Ann Curry, was forced out over the summer, it was Mr. Lauer and not network executives who shouldered most of the blame."
The article also notes that Lauer "is criticized routinely in the media; one columnist this week said simply, ‘He’s got to go.’ And even members of his own staff are sharply divided: some say he, and ‘Today,’ can recover from the last year, while others say his reputation is irreparable.
‘The employees spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared retribution from Mr. Lauer and their bosses. They all agreed that his contract, thought to keep him at ‘Today’ through at least 2014, would be his last."
The article also says that "Mr. Lauer’s Q Score — a measure of likability, treated as gospel by the TV industry — has fallen by more than half since he was paired with Ms. Curry in June 2011. It was a 19 that September; by this January it was a 9. For the first time his counterpart on ‘Good Morning America,’ George Stephanopoulos, has a higher score."
We urge you to click on the link in the second paragraph above and read Stelter’s entire article about the challenges facing "The Today Show."