Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Darrell Mcdonald

'Today' ratings soar in aftermath of Matt Lauer firing

'Today' ratings soar in aftermath of Matt Lauer firing

After firing Lauer, NBC News' human resources department said they're now sifting through Lauer's emails in an effort to bring more justice to any colleagues who may have suffered in silence. But when that news is about "Today" itself, the audience response to the program can be quite surprising.

On Wednesday, the morning after Lauer was sacked, 5.742 million viewers turned in to Today, the most since the 2012 London Olympics.

Today Show host Matt Lauer poses for photographers as he arrives for the opening of the new exhibit "Exhibitionism: The Rolling Stones" in the Manhattan borough of New York City, U.S., November 15, 2016.

While the high drama was playing out on Today, ABC's Good Morning America logged 4.3M viewers and CBS This Morning averaged 3.6M.

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. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many people here.

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NBC News executives will be watching the Nielsen numbers carefully in the coming weeks as the realization sinks in among faithful "Today" fans that Lauer is permanently gone. But the NBC show typically finishes second to ABC's "Good Morning America" in overall audience. "Today" captured an average of 1.292 million people in the advertiser demo, compared with 972,000 for "GMA" and 684,000 for "CBS This Morning".

Lauer, who had just signed a contract previous year that would put him in the anchor chair through 2018, had a contract worth a reported $20 million, according to Variety.

Ad buyers have said they do not anticipate an anchor change at "Today" to spur major ratings fluctuations, but rival networks are likely to do what they can to woo NBC's viewers to try something new at a moment of transition.

It sounds like Craig Melvin might be in talks to replace Matt Lauer on "TODAY". Kotb has been working alongside Guthrie since Lauer's ouster was announced.

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