He and Howard and Hampton's buddies, right?
TV industry insiders say no amount of NBC executive reshuffling can save the embattled “Today” show — until its longtime co-host throws in the towel.
Lauer has been blamed for the show’s ratings woes, which intensified in June when co-host Ann Curry was suddenly ditched and replaced by Savannah Guthrie.
“This problem is not going to go away until Matt Lauer does,” a prominent former NBC News exec told the Daily News on Tuesday. “He’s great, but fairly or unfairly, his brand is damaged.”
The sentiment comes just as a new production team is poised to take over “Today,” which has fallen into second place this year behind archrival “Good Morning America” in the cutthroat ratings race.
Alexandra Wallace, 46, a TV news veteran with morning show experience and a senior vice president at NBC News, will take charge of the show in the near future. She will appoint a new executive producer to replace Jim Bell, who has been running “Today” since 2005.
Bell was behind the unceremonious ouster of Curry.
Competitors like ABC’s “Good Morning America” and “CBS This Morning” are celebrating the move, claiming that Wallace is no turnaround expert.
“Nothing’s changed here,” an industry competitor said of Wallace, a mother of two young children.
“She was put in charge of (Brian Williams’ prime-time magazine) ‘Rock Center’ just earlier this year, and they’re still rock bottom in prime time.” As a top executive at NBC News, she has also had a hand in the slow-motion “Today” ratings collapse.
“They just keep throwing layers of management on this problem,” another competitor said.