After rumors surfaced that former NBC stalwart Matt Lauer would be making his TV comeback over at CNN, Jeff Zucker, Lauer’s former boss at NBC and the current boss at CNN, adamantly denied the rumors.
The New York Post’s Page Six reports that Zucker sent word out to “all employees” at CNN, telling them “there is absolutely no truth at all in the reports that Matt is coming to CNN.”
The rumors appear to have originated with a Page Six report we covered one month ago about Lauer, who left NBC in disgrace in 2017, coming out of seclusion to attend Zucker’s 54th birthday party. The Post notes that other CNN regulars such as Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo were also on hand.
“A relaxed-looking Lauer was seen laughing and chatting with Zucker at the celebration,” The Post adds.
Zucker reportedly addressed the Lauer rumor during one of his regular town hall meetings in which he spoke on an internal broadcast that went out to CNN employee monitors worldwide.
The Post quotes a CNN insider saying: “Some staff were starting to freak out that Matt Lauer was suddenly about to come back from the dead and show up at CNN’s shiny new Manhattan office at Hudson Yards.”
The Post’s insider also said: “The internal talk about Matt was that — if it turned out to be true — some senior female employees would refuse to work with him. There was palpable relief in the office after Jeff confirmed Matt isn’t happening.”