Matt Lauer is out.
But who is in?!?
On the heels of NBC axing Lauer from his co-hosting gig on The Today Show, in the wake of VERY disturbing sexual misconduct allegations, questions are starting to go from this:
What the Hell is wrong with Matt Lauer?!?
Who will replace Matt Lauer?
Some have naturally speculated that Megyn Kelly will swoop in and take Lauer’s seat alongside Savannah Gurthrie, considering how much NBC is paying her each year.
But she only just started her own hour on Today.
Would the network really move her so quickly?
If not Kelly, however, it really is unclear just who will take over for Lauer, which is largely because Lauer himself has served as a deterrent to potential future anchors.
Remember: these sexual assault charges are shocking.
But there’s been talk of Lauer getting fired for years now, due to his huge contract, the show’s faltering ratings and his perceived bad attitude.
Lauer was aware of these rumors.
In response, he went out of his way to ensure such reporters as David Gregory, Josh Elliott and Billy Bush were unprepared to sit in his chair.
“Matt killed off, in their infancy, every man who could succeed him at the time that he was ready to hang it up,” an insider tells Page Six.
“So there’s nobody to take his place. And now NBC is paying the price.”
Hoda Kotb announced that Lauer was fired early last week, but she’s entrenched with Kathie Lee Giffored on their own hour of Today.
No one takes her seriously as a candidate.
Reportedly, Craig Melvin, who serves as a host on Weekend Today, is being strongly considered for the job of Lauer’s replacement.
However, one network executive doesn’t think he’s suitable.
“I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup,” this executive tells The New York Post.
At the moment, Willie Geist probably leads the pack. He’ll get the job, if we had to guess right now.
Ironically, meanwhile, ratings for Today have shot up in the wake of Lauer’s firing.
We guess this isn’t all that stunning, with folks wanting to tune in and see how the series is handling his dismissal.
To the network’s credit, Today has been covering the Lauer debacle just like any news story. It’s not holding anything back just because it is involved in the case.
And to whomever does replace Lauer, there’s no reason to be nervous:
Lauer may have raped someone.
In other words: he’s set the bar VERY low.
You’ll do fine.