(NEW YORK) -- Count Matt Lauer among those who felt NBC could've handled Ann Curry's departure from the Today show better than it did last summer.
Lauer, the subject of many reports last year claiming he was the one who pushed NBC News to replace Curry, discusses the Today shakeup in an interview with The Daily Beast.
He echoes the sentiment of many when he states, “I don’t think the show and the network handled the transition well. You don’t have to be Einstein to know that."
Lauer continues, “It clearly did not help us. We were seen as a family, and we didn’t handle a family matter well.”
Former NBC News president Steve Capus insists that Lauer disagreed with the decision to demote Curry and was a "supporter" of hers.
Before Curry was tapped to replace Meredith Vieira as co-anchor in 2011, The Daily Beast reports, Lauer and his former Today colleague Katie Couric pitched an idea to NBC in which she'd join Today for a year and a half until they both launched a syndicated show together. NBCUniversal chief executive Steve Burke turned down the proposal, and Couric came to an agreement with ABC to create her current daytime program, Katie.
Currently, the Today show trails in the ratings to ABC's Good Morning America, a show it dominated for more than 15 years. Lauer is putting an optimistic spin on things, telling The Daily Beast that his program's second-place status among the morning shows is a "real shot in the arm, a kick in the pants."
That may be, but The Daily Beast reveals that Lauer met with Burke last fall and offered to leave the Today show if he felt "the show's better off without me." Burke assured Lauer that he wanted him to remain with Today.
Though there have been recent rumors that Lauer could be removed from the Today show, Burke has reportedly told Lauer that is not the case.
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