Matt Lauer on Ann Curry Exit, 'Today' Ratings Slide

(Image credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Matt Lauer is among those who believe 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, discussed the "Today" shakeup in an interview with The Daily Beast. "I don't think the show and the network handled the transition well," he said "You don't have to be Einstein to know that."

"It clearly did not help us. We were seen as a family, and we didn't handle a family matter well," Lauer continued.

Former NBC News President Steve Capus has insisted 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 reported, 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.

According to the website, NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke turned down the proposal, and Couric came to an agreement with ABC to create her new daytime program, "Katie."

The "Today" show now trails in the ratings to ABC's "Good Morning America," a time slot it dominated for more than 15 years.

Lauer told 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."

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