Jan 25 2013, 3:00am CST | by Mark Raby
If you've noticed that new commercials for NBC's Today Show focus a heck of a lot on Matt Lauer and not so much on the rest of the morning news crew, that's intentional. It's part of NBC's effort to prove to yout hat Lauer is a good guy, even though millions of people have already tuned him out of their minds as the one who got veteran news titan Ann Curry ousted from the co-host spot.
The Today Show's ratings are dropping. Everyone knows this. It's common knowledge even among people who have never followed the politics of the morning news scene. But there's a distinct difference between this phenomenon and when something similar happens to other networks. This time, everyone knows why the ratings are dropping - Matt Lauer.
So the new ads, over which the Today Show team have surprisingly little involvement, are just not working. "The crew is just left scratching their heads over the ad," an unnamed source was quoted as saying in a RadarOnline.com interview.
"This is the TODAY Show, not the Matt Lauer Show….the entire cast should be used for future ads. Willie Geist and Hoda Kotb are wildly popular, you have to remind the public why they should watch the show….not remind them of the one reason people aren’t, Matt Lauer!" the source continued.
Obviously the problem with Lauer is that he thought the TV news business was the same as it was when he started. It isn't. Everyone wants to be in the loop these days, and if something goes on behind closed doors (like discussions with NBC executives to discuss Curry's departure)...well, let's just say "behind closed doors" is a myth in the 2010s, and Lauer was blissfully ignorant of that. Even though he, in all likelihood, had something to do with Curry's downsizing, he honestly thought that as long as he didn't say anything on-air about it, he'd be fine. That is proving to be an incredibly costly mistake.
With more than 10 years as a professional writer, Mark Raby has an undeniable pulse on the latest trends. From the quiet rumors to the breaking news of the day, his eagle eye is always focused on the newest scoop and figuring out how and why the big newsmakers are noteworthy and relevant. He is based in New York City.
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