Matt Lauer's Abrupt 'Today' Firing Created a "Really Terrible Vibe" on Set

Carla Harmon
December 6, 2017

Ratings for NBC's Today show rose last week after the network announced it had fired longtime co-host Matt Lauer following an allegation of inappropriate sexual behavior, according to Nielsen data released yesterday.

"Today" beat rival "Good Morning America" by more than 539,000 viewers for the week ending on December 1, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Lauer - a fixture on "Today" since 1994 - was sacked November 28, after a female NBC employee filed a sexual harassment complaint against him. Berman was a regular guest on the Today show. CBS This Morning came in third place averaging over 3.5 million weekly viewers.

The NBC program last week attracted an average of 4.9 million viewers, compared with an average of 4.36 million for "GMA" and an average of almost 3.53 million for CBS' "CBS This Morning".

In the days since embattled TV journalist Matt Lauer was sacked from his top post at NBC News, the network's "Today" show has dominated.

Lauer apologized after the allegations broke, and his statement was read aloud on "Today" last Thursday.

That was first reported by CNN, who noted that Lauer's morals clause likely allows NBC to withhold his salary.

NBC's "Nightly News" had 10.5 million viewers on Wednesday, when Lauer's firing was the lead story, and its advantage that night helped NBC beat ABC's "World News Tonight" for the week.

"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions", he said. "As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC", he said. "I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly", he continued.

"Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I'm committed to beginning that effort". Kotb and Craig Melvin, the co-anchor of the Saturday edition of "Today", are getting serious consideration as Lauer replacements. It is now my full time job. "The last two days have forced me to take a hard look at my own flaws". It's been humbling. I am blessed to be surrounded by people I love.

It was also noted that Lauer could choose to sue the network in an attempt to receive additional pay, but they will not agree to hand over any money to the disgraced anchor.

Other reports by iNewsToday