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As NBC News’ Matt Lauer & Chelsea Clinton Compete For Headlines, Clinton’s Ahead With Possible Return To First Daughter Status

By | Friday June 13, 2014 @ 4:11pm PDT

MattLauer__130326235800-e1364342305297-200x272LisaDeMoraesColumnThe same day NBC News announced it had re-upped Today show host Matt Lauer for another couple years, the news kinda got pushed aside by another report about NBC News — that it had paid Chelsea Clinton $600,000 a year as “special correspondent.”

As special correspondent since 2011, Clinton has: admired the vegetarianism of Stella and Linda McCartney, reflected on Judy Blume’s impact on her childhood, profiled a woman from Pine Bluff, AR who runs a program for some of that city’s poorest children, spoken to Paul McCartney about how cool it is to be Stella’s dad, and learned that elephants are very human.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled with Matt’s decision NBC News president Deborah Turness said in a statement about Lauer’s re-up. “As I’ve said many times before, he’s the best in the business, and there is nobody I would rather have in the Today anchor chair than Matt.” Added Lauer in his own statement: “I consider this the best job in broadcasting. I love people I work with every day and I have such respect and gratitude for the people I work for. I couldn’t be happier to be staying.”
Chelsea Clinton Jewish Muslim documentarySpeaking of couldn’t-be-happier, Lauer’s last contract reportedly paid him about $20 million-$25 million a year; his contract before that came with a reported paycheck of $17 mil per. NBC News, in its announcement via NYT, declined to discuss finances. Clinton, meanwhile, has been busted down to a month-to-month player,  in case her mom runs for POTUS and she again becomes First Daughter, reported Politico in its Clinton salary post.
Back in November of ’11, NBC News announced it had hired Clinton, joining a proud tradition of political children hired by NBC News, reaching way back to the days of JFK/RFK/Ted Kennedy niece Maria Shriver. At the time of Clinton’s hire, that roster included George W. Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush Hager, hired as a correspondent for Today, and Sen. John McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain, who back then was a contributor at MSNBC. Daughters of former presidents and presidential hopefuls continue to be the Drew Barrymores of New York TV network news divisions — the Willow Smiths of Washington, though, more recently, NBC News has branched out, hiring the son of actress Mia Farrow and either Woody Allen nbc-newsor Frank Sinatra — Mia’s not saying which. Read More »

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Matt Lauer Extends ‘Today’ Contract: Report

By | Thursday June 12, 2014 @ 11:19pm PDT

MattLauer__130326235800-e1364342305297-200x272NBC stood by Matt Lauer during the controversy over the dismissal of Ann Curry as Today co-host in 2012. Two years later, the network has reaffirmed its commitment to the long-time Today host, signing him in a new multi-year contract extension, according to the New York Times. “I consider this the best job in broadcasting,” Lauer told the paper in a statement. The new deal will take Lauer’s tenure on Today to two decades, the longest ever on the morning program. After the ratings meltdown two years ago when Today lost its decades-long ratings lead to ABC’s Good Morning America, the NBC show had been clawing its way back up, recently narrowing the gap with GMA in the 25-54 demo. In addition to his duties on Today, Lauer subbed for Bob Costas in Sochi earlier this year while NBC’s Olympics anchor was sidelined with pink eye.

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NBC’s ‘Today,’ ABC’s ‘GMA’ Interview Elliot Rodger Parents’ Friend/Spokesman: Video

By | Thursday May 29, 2014 @ 6:45am PDT

Hours after closing out Wednesday’s primetime with its exclusive Edward Snowden interview, NBC News opened today with Matt Lauer’s interview with a friend of the parents of the suspected UCSB Santa Barbara killer.

Watch NBC interview here:

Watch ABC interview here:
ABC US News | ABC International News

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John Oliver Visits Jimmy Fallon, Matt Lauer To Promote HBO ‘Last Week Tonight’ Debut: Video

John Oliver took the NBC package deal to promote the launch of his new HBO late night show, Last Week Tonight this coming Sunday. Oliver stopped by Tonight show last night, where he made fun of Jimmy Fallon‘s interview style and talked about friends’ reaction to his final The Daily Show appearance:

Earlier this week, Oliver so deftly explained to Today show’s Matt Lauer why his satirical show would not bother to cover a report that had just been featured on Today, that Lauer barely noticed he’d been dinged: Read More »

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‘Today’s Matt Lauer And Al Roker Get In On ‘Sharknado 2′: Video

By | Wednesday April 2, 2014 @ 7:47am PDT

“We can officially announce we shot cameos Tuesday,” Today co-anchor Matt Lauer announced this morning on the program, of his sharknadoappearance with Today weatherman Al Roker in Syfy‘s upcoming Sharknado sequel, Sharknado 2, debuting July 30 on the fellow NBCUniversal network. Lauer’s co-host Savannah Guthrie, giving the performance of her lifetime, responded that she is “wildly jealous.” Today played a clip in which Roker, on the Today set, explains to Lauer, “This is a twister with teeth.” Lauer contributes: “Enough said indeed, Al, Thank you very much.”  The cameo was shot yesterday. Lauer also showed a clip in which he uses a Today orange umbrellas to stab something that looked like it came from the fish department of Whole Foods, only wrapped in green fabric. “I can’t believe we gave away the whole climax of the movie,” Lauer said. “I’ll remind you the Golden Globes are next January — who are you wearing?” Guthrie snarked.

In Sharknado 2, “a freak weather system turns its deadly fury on New York City, unleashing a ‘sharknado’ on the city’s population and its most iconic sites,” Syfy has said of the sequel. The original orgy of bad special effects and even worse acting had triggered a social media feeding frenzy among journalists and celebrities when it premiered last July. Read More »

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Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’ Luge Gag Delights ‘Today’ Team: Video

By | Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 7:36am PST

NBC’s Today team this morning celebrated making the opening monologue in Jimmy Fallon’s celebrity-strewn Tonight Show debut last night. “The screaming actually came from their sled,” Jimmy Fallon had joked as he showed a clip of spandex-ed Al Roker and Matt Lauer making their return to the luge, on the Olympic track in Sochi. “You can’t unsee that,” Fallon snarked.

Watch here:

Related:
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Robert De Niro, Tina Fey, Lady Gaga, Joan Rivers & Kim Kardashian Surprise Jimmy Fallon On His First ‘Tonight Show’: Video
Jimmy Fallon’s First ‘Tonight Show’: Will Smith, U2, De Niro And Olympic Fever

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UPDATE: NBC Olympics EP Jim Bell Defends Bode Miller Interview About Dead Brother That Brought Him To Tears (Video)

By | Monday February 17, 2014 @ 10:50am PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198UPDATE: 10:45 AM: NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell said this morning it would have been “irresponsible” of NBC had the network not asked U.S. Olympic skier Bode Miller questions about his dead brother, and U.S. skeleton racer Noelle Pikus-Pace questions about a miscarriage she suffered a few years ago, during its coverage of the two athletes’ respective medal wins. Bell insisted he’d do the same if covering any other sport, but that it’s especially important with “Olympics particularly, because people don’t know these athletes…It’s a bigger responsibility to share” this personal information, he insisted, in order “to get viewers to connect with those athletes…and their sports.”

bodemiller1Bell said he understood the reaction to particularly the Miller interview, and the public’s tendency to “take to Twitter to vent a little about it.” In the interview, conducted after Bode’s bronze medal Super-G run on Sunday and run at length during NBC’s primetime coverage last night, Olympics reporter Christin Cooper asked him multiple questions about his brother, as Bode choked up, and only ended when Bode doubled over weeping, then walked away. Bode’s brother died in April of an apparent seizure that may have been connected to a motorcycle accident.

In a phone call with press this morning, Bell maintained that, the “storyline about Bode” had been set up on the network’s Olympics broadcast the night before the interview, and he “felt it was important to finish it up.” He noted Miller himself took to Twitter to defend Cooper and that Bode had come on NBC’s Today this morning to tell viewers he did not blame her for the questions. “He said he thought it was fine and he stood by her,” Bell said, adding that should “take some of the temperature down on” the kerfuffle over that interview and the interview Meredith Vieira did with Pikus-Pace in which she asked the athlete about a miscarriage she suffered a few years ago. Bell, who was on the phoner to talk about Bob Costas’ return to the air tonight — a subject that quickly got overshadowed by questions about the Miller and Pikus-Pace interviews — said  “the way it played out was fine.”

In a statement about the Bode interview issued after Bode appeared on Today show,  NBC said: “Our intent was to convey the emotion that Bode Miller was feeling after winning his bronze medal.  We understand how some viewers thought the line of questioning went too far, but it was our judgment that his answers were a necessary part of the story. We’re gratified that Bode has been publicly supportive of Christin Cooper and the overall interview.”

PREVIOUS, 6:10 AM: NBC This morning asked Bodenbcsochi__131202172913 Miller, in so many words, to come to the defense of its Olympics reporter Christin Cooper, who has been under fire since she caused Olympic skier to double over and weep, with repeated questions about his brother’s death during an interview. (Watch after the jump).

Cooper has taken a lot of heat for going way too far in that interview she did with Miller after he won a bronze medal in the men’s Super-G ski race Sunday. Cooper became a Twitter trending topic – and not in a good way — almost immediately after it aired in full during NBC’s primetime coverage of the interview.  “We’re not done until you sob, Bode!” said one tweeter, pretending to be an NBC Sports exec. Read More »

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Meredith Vieira To Anchor Second Night Of NBC’s Primetime Sochi Games Coverage As Bob Costas Recovers

By | Saturday February 15, 2014 @ 8:20am PST

Meredith Vieira will host NBC’sMeredithVieira110913221045-275x275 primetime coverage of the Sochi Olympics again tonight. Last night she made history, becoming the first woman to ever anchor NBC’s primetime Olympics coverage. She’s filling in for Bob Costas, whose nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821eye condition is “improving” but is still “day to day,” NBC Sports told Deadline. Vieira, who’d been brought to Sochi to co-host the Opening Ceremony with Matt Lauer and has since been doing segments for Today on U.S. athletes to watch at the Games, was tapped yesterday to replace Costas as the network’s primetime Games anchor. She took over for Lauer, who’d pulled double duty for three days. Costas still is battling an infection in both eyes that makes studio lighting his enemy, though he too may have made TV history: first anchor on record with Twitter trending eyes.

NBC’s Games EP Jim Bell said in a phoner with the press Friday that Vieira was likely on duty for two nights as Costas continues to recover from pink eye. Bell called her the best choice for the gig among a considerable stable of talent at Sochi because her schedule was most flexible. For a TV veteran whose new syndicated daytime talk show is set to launch in the fall, the Sochi exposure is a gift. Before Costas, former Today anchor Bryant Gumbel served as primetime host of NBC’s Olympic coverage and … Read More »

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UPDATE: Meredith Vieira Steps In For Bob Costas At Sochi Games, Makes TV History

By | Friday February 14, 2014 @ 6:34pm PST

MeredithVieira110913221045-275x275UPDATE, 6:30 PM: “At an Olympics, there is no way to know what will happen at the moment everything matters most — no guarantee you’ll turn all that preparation into perfection,” Meredith Vieira said tonight at the International Broadcast Center in Sochi as she kicked off NBC’s primetime broadcast of Olympics competition held earlier in the day. The comment was particularly appropriate under the circumstances: Vieira, who’d been brought to Sochi to co-host the Opening Ceremony with Matt Lauer and had been doing segments for Today on U.S. athletes to watch at the Games since, was tapped to replace Bob Costas as the network’s primetime Games anchor, taking over for Lauer, who’d pulled double duty for three days. Costas still is battling an infection in both eyes that makes studio lighting his enemy.

Related: Sochi Olympics’ First Wednesday Ratings Free-Fall From 2010

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821Vieira is on duty for at least one night – possibly two, according to NBC’s Games EP Jim Bell, who called her the best choice for the gig among a considerable stable of talent at Sochi because her schedule was most flexible. For a TV veteran whose new syndicated daytime talk show is set to launch in the fall, the Sochi exposure is a gift. Before Costas, former Today anchor Bryant Gumbel served as primetime host of NBC’s Olympic coverage and was preceded by Curt Gowdy and Bill Henry, making Vieira the first woman to do the job. Hannah Storm, Mary Carillo, Gayle Gardner and Jane Pauley have previously hosted NBC’s daytime and late-night Olympic coverage.

“It’s so funny, I woke up this morning and I was feeling fine, and now my eyes are killing me,” Vieira joshed on Today this morning when her new assignment was announced. “I watched you guys [Lauer and Al Roker] attempt the luge. I think I’m going blind.” Read More »

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Bob Costas Out Third Day At Sochi But Hopes To Return By Weekend; Matt Lauer Back In Primetime Tonight

By | Thursday February 13, 2014 @ 8:44am PST

Bob Costas has had to call in sick a third day at SochiNBC Sports tweeted this morning that Costas, who’d been missing from the past two nbcsochi__131202172913days of Olympics broadcasts owing to a nasty case of pinkeye, will sit out tonight’s primetime coverage. Once again, NBC News’ Matt Lauer will step in. “I’m hoping that I’m back by the weekend and I certainly think I’ll be able to do the second half of the games,” Costas told Ryan Seacrest on his radio program this morning, adding, “The virus, they tell me, won’t run its course for two or three weeks, but the symptoms will crest at their worst and start to get better pretty soon. As soon as the symptoms get to the point where I can be in the studio, I’ll be there.” Seacrest, like Costas, is part of NBCU-parent Comcast’s family — hence the interview going to Seacrest. Comcast calls it “symphony.”

MattLauerCostas, NBC‘s primetime and late-night Olympics anchor, has been absent from NBC’s Games broadcasts since Tuesday, when his Twitter-trending swollen pink eyes forced him into what he called “involuntary” absence. Costas, via telephone, explained on NBC’s Today show his eyes had become so “blurry and watery…and so light sensitive” even dim light caused them to start weeping, making it impossible for him to work in the studio.

Related: … Read More »

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UPDATE: NBC’s Sochi Olympics 5-Day Ratings Even With Vancouver 2010, Leaps Ahead Of Torino 2006

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 2:25pm PST

nbcsochi__131202172913__140212145821UPDATE, 2:25 PM: Maybe Matt Lauer should sit in for Bob Costas more often on NBC’s Olympics primetime coverage. Costas’ eye infection may have taken the veteran Olympics broadcaster out of the chair for a bit but the ratings are moving up for the network. With last night’s results proving a big help, NBC now finds its national household 5-day average of 14.4/23 steady with Vancouver over the same period (14.5/24) and up 13% from the same span at Torino (12.7/20). That’s an apples to apples average counting the 5-days since the Opening Ceremony on February 7 with the same periods from the last two Winter Games. What’s also of note is that the coverage from the Sochi games is tape-delayed while coverage from our nearby West Coast Northern neighbor was essentially live.

Related: NBC Says Olympics Ratings Proves Primetime Strategy Is Working

What made this a real Olympic tie was the final numbers from last night. NBCs Sochi broadcast on Tuesday solidified its best result yet compared to the Vancouver 2010 games. The net’s 8 PM – 11:03 PM coverage scored a 13.7/22 national household rating and averaged 23.7 million viewers. That’s a 12% rise over the national HH ratings on the comparable night of Vancouver 2010 on February 16 that year and a 17% jump in viewership from the 20.3 million who watched that night 4 years ago. In contrast to the last European held Winter Games, NBC surged up 21% over the 11.3/18 result of the similar night of the Torino 2006 Winter Games. Last night’s coverage leaped up 29% from the 18.4 million who watched the network’s prime broadcast 8 years ago.

PREVIOUS, 8:44 AM: The absence of Bob Costas due to an eye infection, his replacement Matt Lauer and no gold medal for U.S. snowboarder Shaun White were the big stories of NBC‘s Olympics primetime coverage last night. Not that those surprises were a bad thing ratingswise: the first Tuesday of the Sochi Games drew a 6.6/18 in preliminary ratings among adults 18-49, up a strong 20% from the 5.5 of the comparable night of the Vancouver Winter Games on February 16, 2010. With more of the ever-popular lauer 1skating, freestyle skiing and women’s luge, NBC’s broadcast Tuesday was watched by 23.7 million, a 16% rise in total viewers over the 20.5 million who watched the same night in Vancouver. The night marked the biggest viewers and demo gains over the Vancouver Games that NBC has seen since it started its Sochi coverage on February 6. Facing repeats and a spattering of originals except on Fox, NBC easily won the night. Fox and Univision tied for the ratings silver with a 1.2/3, while CBS’ encores hooked in 7.76 million viewers

Last night’s Olympics primetime package drew a 14.5/22 in overnight metered-markets, with Minneapolis again proving the No. 1 market with a 21.8/36.  To put things in a bit more context, the first Tuesday of the Vancouver Games garnered a national rating of 12.2/19 with 20.3 million viewers in the final numbers. The comparable night of the Torino 2006 games drew an 11.3/18 national rating. We’ll update with Tuesday’s final numbers when they come in.

Read More »

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Bob Costas Out Another Day As NBC’s Sochi Olympics Primetime And Late-Night Anchor

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 6:14am PST

Bob Costas, NBC‘s primetime and late-nightnbcsochi__131202172913 Olympics anchor, is out a second day — felled by swollen, weepy eyes. “I don’t know if I’m the first person to break it to you, but you’re coming out of the bullpen again tonight, Matt,” Costas phoned in to Matt Lauer this morning during the What’s Trending portion of Today show in Sochi. Costas and his pink-ish, teary eyes had been trending for a while — Costas having LauerCostas__140212022317-275x155shown up last Thursday to anchor early Games coverage sporting a badly swollen left eye, glasses, and an apology to viewers. Tuesday was a big/bad day for NBC, with both Costas and Shaun White suffering the end of their streaks. White, who NBC had hoped would be its Big Story of the Sochi Games, lost out on his bid for a third consecutive gold in the halfpipe, going home with no medals from Sochi; Costas ended his uninterrupted run as anchor of NBC’s Olympics broadcasts since the late ’80s.

Lauer made his debut asmatt-lauer-2014-winter-olympics (1) fill-in anchor last night, telling viewers Costas’ eyes were so infected he looked like the loser in a prize fight. “How are you doing? So many people are rooting for you and worrying about you a little bit,” Savannah Guthrie asked Costas this morning — after noting Lauer’s  “great reviews” for replacing him. Read More »

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UPDATE: Matt Lauer Shuns Bob Costas’ Vodka-Shot Therapy As He Fills In On NBC’s Primetime Olympics Coverage

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 6:03pm PST

UPDATE, 5:50 PM PT: SochiOlympicsNBC__131021180345__140123184857“We’re back now with a good opportunity to welcome in our Mary Carillo, and she’s about to bring us our nightly dose of Russian culture and no vodka tonight – please. You saw what happened last night,” Matt Lauer joked tonight as he fills in for Bob Costas on NBC‘s primetime Olympics coverage. LauerCostasHe’s referring to the previous night’s primetime coverage when Costas abandoned NBC doctors’ treatment for his ever-worsening eye infections, and went instead with vodka, telling Carillo during one of her Russian-culture segments as he downed what was billed as a good-ish dose of  the Russian booze: “My eyes can’t get any redder.” Polishing off his drink, he predicted, “Tomorrow morning I’ll be lying on a curb in Minsk.”

PREVIOUS, 4:30 PM PT: “I’m Matt Lauer, in for Bob Costas tonight. If you’ve been following along the last several days you know Bob’s been battling — and that’s an understatement — an eye infection that’s traveled a little bit,” Lauer said at the top of tonight’s NBC primetime coverage of Tuesday competition. ” I saw him in the hotel this morning — he looked a little like the loser in a prize fight.”

Walking up to the primetime coverage, NBC’s evening newscaster Brian Williams told viewers, “Bob Costas took himself out of the lineup for tonight as he deals with that eye infection,” ending a “Ripkin-like iron man streak of 157 straight primetime Olympics broadcasts that goes back to Barcelona in ’92.”

Related: NBC’s Brian Williams Newscast Attracts 16 Million Viewers From Sochi On Sunday

Read More »

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UPDATE: Media Mulls Bob Costas’ Eyes, Johnny Weir’s Blazer At Sochi Olympics (Video)

By | Tuesday February 11, 2014 @ 9:50am PST

2ND UPDATE: 9:30 AM: NBC commentator Johnny Weir’s Tuesday Olympics blazer is being discussed in various outlets as an homage to Bob Costas‘ eyes:

pinkeye

UPDATE, 8:30 AM: NBC has issued a news release about Bob Costas’ decision to end his streak of 157 nightsnbcsochi__131202172913 of Olympics coverage.  The network reiterated what Costas announced this morning on Today: that Matt Lauer will host NBC’s Olympic primetime and late-night shows tonight in place of Costas, who has an eye infection. In the news release, Costas says he bowed out tonight because, “as a practical matter, I simply couldn’t do my job because my eyes had become so blurry, watery and sensitive to light.” He added: “I’m hopeful the symptoms will improve in the next couple of days and I can return to the broadcast. Also, the last thing I want is to go through the rest of my life owing Matt Lauer a bunch of favors.”

bob costasTonight marks the first time since CBS presented the Nagano Olympic Winter Games in 1998 that someone other than Costas will host an Olympics primetime show. It’s also the first time since 1988 that someone other than Costas will host the Olympic primetime show on NBC — a remarkable 157 straight nights. “I’m happy to keep his chair warm. Although I might Purell it before I sit in it!” Lauer said in the announcement, which noted Costas is listed as ‘day to day’ on the NBC injury report.

Costas’ full statement: Read More »

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Matt Lauer To Host ‘Going For Gold’

NBC announced this morning Matt Lauer will host GoingMattLauer__130326235800-e1364342305297-200x272 For Gold — and yet,  it’s not a Sochi Olympics walk-up. It’s a celebrity-studded walk-up to the network’s broadcast of the Golden Globe Awards, is an NBC News production, and will air Friday at 8 PM. If it’s Sochi Olympics walk-up you’re looking for, NBC will broadcast Shaun White: Russia Calling on January 25 — an hour-long program examining how the two-time gold medal winner balances work and play while prepping for the Games. It is not produced by NBC News, instead by Shaun White Enterprises, with Shaun White exec producing, and promises, modestly, to be “a rare inside look into the challenges and sacrifices that are made in order to be the best in the world.”

From NBC’s Going For Gold announcement: Read More »

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‘Today’ Ad Blitz Unveiling Upstaged By Robin Roberts Coming Out On ‘GMA’: Video

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198NBC began its Today show Olympics walk-up this morning with a strategically timed piece in The New York Times about a Comcast-wide ad blitz for a new show tagline “Rise to Shine”.  It’s part of a big push to get Today back on top in the morning infotainment show ratings.  In the article, NBC noted that Today, which lost its ratings crown to ABC’s Good Morning America some time ago, has been Todayshow07__120726201155-200x129chipping away at GMA’s lead, even beating its rival by 18,000 in the news demo the week of December 16 (aka The Week GMA Sent Robin Roberts to the Vatican). The head of NBC News research spoke passionately about Matt Lauer‘s importance to the show’s ratings resuscitation,  and Matt himself discussed taking selfies when you think you’re looking good, not when you’re looking bad.

GMA responded this morning with a news release announcing that it won all four quarters of 2013, including its largest fourth-quarter total-viewer lead over Today in more than 22 years, and its biggest demo lead over Today in 19 years (371,000 viewers) during the final full week of the calendar year.

Oh, and Robin Roberts come out on GMA this morning — taking some of the wind out of Today’s carefully orchestrated “Rise to Shine”. Read More »

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Bryant Gumbel And Jane Pauley To Reunite On ‘Today’ On December 30

By | Thursday December 26, 2013 @ 5:24pm PST

NBC’s Today will take a loving look back at when it was tops in the ratings, on December 30, when it brings back former anchors Bryant Todayshow07__120726201155-200x129Gumbel and Jane Pauley to co-anchor the morning show. Gumbel and Pauley were co-anchors of Today another time it found itself playing second fiddle to ABC’s Good Morning America in the ratings, Todayand their pairing is credited with putting Today back on top eventually. Maybe they’ll talk about that. And, yes, Matt Lauer will be there too December 30, in case they scare up a big crowd.

Pauley left the show — or was eased out for the younger Deborah Norville, depending on your source –  in 1989.  Gumbel left in 1997 to anchor a primetime newsmagazine on CBS. That did not go well. Gumbel got back together with his anchors once before during Today‘s 60th anniversary, in January 2012; Pauley still appears on the show monthly for a segment in which she spotlights Americans over 50 embarking on new careers.

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UPDATE: Matt Lauer, Al Roker Get Prostate Exams Live On ‘Today’: Video

By | Thursday November 7, 2013 @ 10:08am PST

“We should mention, we’re going to do this in a tasteful way — this is not The Learning Channel,” Savannah Guthrie said at the top of the hour on the Today show this morning, when Matt Lauer and Al Roker got prostate exams live, on the air, on ratings-hungry Today. Turns out, a tasteful, live, on-air prostate exam involves watching Lauer open a door, enter another room, close the door, after which the Ladies of Today vamp for 34 seconds until Matt emerges from behind the door and his doctor pronounces his prostate small, smooth, and nodule-free. It’s not as dull as, say, CNN’s Crossfire, but it doesn’t hold a candle to Katie Couric’s Celebrity Colonoscopy, about 13 years ago, on Today.

That live on-air colonoscopy changed how many Americans viewed the procedure. But back then, we watched Katie prep the night before, we listened to her talk about the death of her husband from colon cancer; Katie was sedated and therefore charmingly semi-loopy in her hospital gown at the hospital for the procedure. We watched in horror/fascination, as the little camera snaked its way up Katie’s intestine with Katie and her doctor proving commentary. It was gripping stuff. Matt and Al walking behind a door lacks drama. (continued)

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‘Today’s Matt Lauer And Al Roker To Get Live Prostate Exams On Tomorrow’s Show

By | Wednesday November 6, 2013 @ 3:41pm PST

More than 13 years ago, morning infotainment ratings leader Today aired Katie Couric’s Celebrity Colonoscopy and changed how many Americans viewed that screening. Tomorrow, Matt Lauer and Al Roker will get prostate exams live, on the air, on the now-ratings-hungry morning show. When Today made a star of Couric’s colon in March 2000, nearly 6.7 million viewers tuned in to watch that day. To put that in perspective, it’s about how many viewers tuned in to Today for updates the morning after President Obama successfully pulled off the taking down of Osama bin Laden. Hoping to re-create the ratings magic, Lauer and Roker will get their prostates checked out, live, by a doctor and discuss the importance of prostate screening for men over 40.

When she left the show in June 2006, Couric said on her final broadcast that undergoing the first televised colonoscopy was her proudest accomplishment. Read More »

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