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NBC denies eyeing Cooper to replace Lauer

Is the CNN anchor headed for 'Today,' and did Lauer try to bully him out of it?

By Mekeisha Madden Toby Mar 27, 2013 10:52AM

'Matt Lauer' '/' NBC

The drama that is NBC's "Today" show just keeps on going.


In the latest scuttlebutt, NBC approached Anderson Cooper to replace Matt Lauer. According to a story, Peacock executives wanted the silver-haired CNN anchor to take over Lauer's "Today" gig by the end of this year.


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The story gets even more interesting because NBC reportedly asked Lauer -- who is a candidate to replace  Alex Trebek on "Jeopardy" --  for his blessings while courting Cooper. Instead, the "Today" anchor called Cooper and voiced his discontent. The interaction caught Cooper by surprise because he thought NBC was working with Lauer to make his possible hiring work.


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Cooper is currently under contract with CNN but has an out that allows him to work on CBS' "60 Minutes" and host his soon to be ending daytime talk show. As for Lauer, he signed  a $25 million a year deal that will keep him on "Today" for at least another year.


Meanwhile, NBC executives have not denied approaching Cooper but said he will not be replacing Lauer. "As we've said before, Matt Lauer is the best in the business. We want him in the 'Today' show anchor chair for many years to come," Alexandra Wallace, NBC News' senior vice president, told THR.


The NBC/Cooper/Lauer rumor is the latest to make news this week. On Sunday, New York magazine released a story that Lauer considered going to ABC not so long ago. Before that, Lauer told the Daily Beast he thought NBC mishandled his former "Today" co-host Ann Curry's firing.


Cooper isn't the only candidate NBC is rumored to be considering as Lauer's replacement. The list also includes "Today" co-host Willie Geist and David Gregory of "Meet the Press."


"Today" airs weekday mornings on NBC.   

Apr 29, 2013 11:44PM
i hope david gregory does NOT get it!  i don't want to have to avoid him 6 days a week!  lost respect for gregory when he used a blatant lie to try to get a statement from former bush press sec. tony snow.  snow rightfully called him out on it.  he disrespected both himself and journalism in that moment by choosing NOT to hold himself to a higher standard.  #GregoryIntegrityFail   
Apr 29, 2013 5:23PM
I am so ready to see Matt Lauer take a hike,he thinks he is Mr.Un replaceable, he is arrgent,rude, and spoiled. You pay him what,and for what,send him packing. 
Apr 29, 2013 3:04PM

I watched the interview of Bush at the library, and Matt Lauer, was nasty and rude to him. He has no respect what so ever for former President Bush. I thought that interview was very distasteful. Matt Lauer acts as if he is better then everyone else.

Apr 29, 2013 2:21PM
Apr 29, 2013 2:08PM
I'm ready to lose Matt Lauer.  Real tired of the rudeness he shows in his interviews.  The interview of Bush at the library opening was the worst but almost everyday he is able to demonstrate his lack of discernment and respect.  There was so much that he could have asked.  I think Savannah should also be replaced - not happy there either.  I like almost anyone better than these two. Matt is a real jerk - Savannah is just boring.  I hate Matt's demeaning attitude and think he should be canned!! Matt needs a smack down.  He is too full of himself.  I do not watch the show to see Matt - I watch the show for the information and news of the day.  The Today Show should not be about Matt Lauer!!
Mar 29, 2013 2:18PM
If and when Matt Lauer leaves the Today show,  my vote goes to Willie Geist to fill the spot!!!!!
Mar 28, 2013 8:17AM
Anderson Cooper would be an excellent replacement for Mr. Lauer. Cooper has demonstrated that he is equally good at hard and soft news, plus he's friendly and approachable. In this world of cynics he makes me think that he really cares.
Mar 27, 2013 3:27PM
Cooper would make a great replacement what his o ya lauer maybe then iwould watch the Today show again
Mar 27, 2013 3:18PM

Matt = M = Major

Lauer = L = Loser


Major = Matt

Loser = Lauer

Mar 27, 2013 3:15PM

It's time for change!


NBC needs to add more color to the  line up!


How about Lester Holt ,Tamara Hall or Mr. Rocker!





Mar 27, 2013 3:13PM
OMG !!!! Please, please, please not David Gregory.  I stop watching Meet the Press because of this guy.
Mar 27, 2013 3:11PM
I think NBC needs to leave Matt where he is. I enjoy the Today Show with him there and I don't think there is anyone  with his expertise to fill his seat.
Mar 27, 2013 3:09PM

Yes yes yes to David Gregory....he would bring, creditability and true journalism – understanding he is reading a teleprompter but would sound professional in giving the news and not make it a chit-chat over coffee, laughing or not completing his sentences….you would think they would want more for $25mil a year.  Anyone can chit-chat and tell people what you did over the weekend.....I can do that for $5mil a year.  In fact I think David Gregory would give Charlie Rose and George Stephanopulos a good run…..and hopefully he won’t do silly stuff like Scott Pelley who likes to hold the glasses he never wears….theatric have to go!!

Mar 27, 2013 3:09PM
matt thinks very highly of himself but he's the only one. i hope jeopardy doesn't have him replace alex either.
Mar 27, 2013 3:07PM
Matt Lauer is a Dick.  The Best in the Biz ?  My A**.  Get Rid of the Fake Fraud that he is...
Mar 27, 2013 3:06PM
They are way OVER PAID FOR SURE !!!!   I really like " Natalie " . Matt is okay , but I still say Ann Curry was one that I would listen to more . She didn't seem fake like Savannah . Curry might not be hyper and funny , but she seem very smart and well read . Please  no seacress ! NO NO  !
Mar 27, 2013 3:04PM
Lauer needs to be replaced. He comes across as arrogant and spoiled and as an elitist. He wants his co-anchors to treat him special and wants to be adored by his colleagues which Savannah does very well. 
                            WILLY is a breath of fresh air and is true to who he is. He is funny, serious, and down to earth. And he has a genuine RESPECT for his colleagues and guests.

                  PLEASE we want to see more of him!    GO WILLY!  Today Show #1!
Mar 27, 2013 3:03PM
Haven't watched the screaming yahoos on the plaza for almost two years and couldn't care less about any of them.  Went to CBS and got actual news and not what some conservative G.E.-owned network  wanted you to hear.   Better than FOX, but what isn't?
Mar 27, 2013 3:02PM
oh good I will start watching the today show again when Lauer is gone......I haven't watched it for years - don't know how he managed to get the job in the first place......
Mar 27, 2013 3:02PM
The current crew on the TODAY show has no real chemistry.  You can't fake that.  You need people that viewers want to see in the morning, get some solid news reporting and share in the banter.  This is not 60 minutes nor should it be.  You guys need to get people with gravitas but who can be truly funny, dish it out and also take it.  Without trashing anyone, I think, and who cares really what I thinky, but I will say it anyway: You should not  think of the show as one lead person or build the show around one person.  You need to get a group of individuals with credibility that can have some real fun while producing quality no matter what is being addressed......whether it be serious news or how to make the very best cannoli. This combination is lacking on morning TV.  CBS approaches this but is a far cry from the best formula. 
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