- Donald Rumsfeld has ‘no idea’ if he paid taxes correctly
- Bradley Manning named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco Pride parade
- Look out PayPal: Facebook working toward mobile payments system
- U.S. rebukes Iran’s U.N. envoy pick over 1979 embassy attack
- Stoned mom avoids jail after driving 12 miles with baby on roof
- More than 100 ‘inappropriate’ encounters between NYC school staffers, students since 2009: report
- Joe Biden to Boston bombing survivors: ‘America will never, ever stand down’
- FBI failed to throughly vet Boston bombing suspect after Russian lead, report finds
- Atlanta Braves flooded with Hank Aaron hate mail: He’s a ‘scumbag’
- University: Help, our campus is too white
Lauer: NBC’s ‘Today’ will be back on top
NEW YORK (AP) - Matt Lauer told advertisers Thursday that he wants to get the “Today” show back to being the most watched and least talked about morning show on television, and that he expects to do it.
The beleaguered morning show host made his pitch at an unfortunately-timed NBC News sales event. “Today” is at low ebb in the ratings and a flurry of media reports has been speculating that Lauer is more of a sinker than a sail.
Lauer’s boss, NBC Universal News Group Chairman Pat Fili-Krushel, said about morning television that “we own it and maybe that’s why the press is so fascinated by us.” She was grouping MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in with the “Today” show.
“When you factor in the quality of our audience … we’re really in a league of our own,” she said.
ABC’s “Good Morning America” has beaten “Today” in the ratings for 29 straight weeks, according to the Nielsen company. And the margin is growing: The last three weeks, which include Robin Roberts’ return to “GMA,” have represented the ABC show’s best stretch since 1994.
On the day that NBC invited advertisers to a luncheon to show off their wares, The New York Times ran a front page article headlined, “At NBC, a Struggle to Revive the Morning Magic.”
“From the bottom of my heart, I promise to spend all of my time and energy over the next several months trying to keep Savannah (Guthrie) out of the headlines,” Lauer joked about his morning co-host.
The “Today” show has been hurt by the messy firing of former co-host Ann Curry last year. Although NBC News executives insist Lauer had nothing to do with the decision, his popularity has plummeted as many viewers appear to blame him.
Lauer said in an interview with The Daily Beast earlier this week that he had told NBC Universal Chairman Steve Burke last fall that he was willing to leave the show if executives wanted. Burke refused the offer. The two men sat next to each other at Thursday’s luncheon.
The “Today” show was once one of the biggest cash cows in television. On Thursday, NBC brought an illusionist in with the “Today” team to entertain the audience of advertisers.
“We do not take your support lightly,” Guthrie said.
TWT Video Picks
By returning to goodness, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- U.S. military on high alert as Ukraine troops trade gunfire with pro-Russian militants
- Russian fighter jet buzzes U.S. Navy destroyer in Black Sea
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Kirsten Dunst: Actress sparks feminist ire: 'You need a man to be a man'
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- PHILLIPS: What did Harry Reid know and when did he know it?
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes