- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 12, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — A report says ‘Today’ co-host Matt Lauer was ready to take the fall last year for troubles on the NBC show.

The Daily Beast reported Monday that Mr. Lauer told Steve Burke, the chief executive of NBC Universal, that he would leave if Mr. Burke thought the show was better off without him. Mr. Burke dismissed the idea. The account of the behind-the-scenes drama at the troubled morning show was confirmed by show spokeswoman Megan Kopf on Monday.

“Today” has slipped behind ABC’s “Good Morning America” in the ratings, and the slide was more pronounced after Ann Curry’s messy departure as Mr. Lauer’s co-host last summer.

Many viewers blamed Mr. Lauer for Miss Curry’s ouster, but the report said Mr. Lauer had urged NBC to move more slowly with plans to replace her.

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