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May 30th, 2012
07:40 PM ET

Matt Lauer on staying with "Today": "I want to make it better"

Coming up this evening on "Piers Morgan Tonight," Donny Deutsch rolls his chair up to the desk for an encore performance as guest host.

Having previously filled in for Piers Morgan in March, the television veteran and advertising executive returns tonight as the show host for the latest edition of "Guest Host Week."

During his last stint in the studio, Deutsch welcomed former "Today" host Meredith Vieira. This time, it's another NBC star, in the form of current "Today" host Matt Lauer.

Joining Deutsch for a face to face sit down, the Emmy Award winner opens up about his newly-inked contract at "The Peacock":

"I have not heard anybody come up with the right amount," says Lauer referring to his new salary. "A lot of things were written during the whole contract kind of negotiation period, or the decision to stay. I think two percent of what was written was true and the number has never been true."

Having been with the iconic program since 1997, the 54-year-old father of three explains his loyalty to NBC:

"I have fed off the company trough at NBC for a long time, and I have been the benefactor of great success there," says Lauer. "The show is not where I want it to be right now, the ratings are not where I want them to be right now...I want to make it better."

Watch the clips, listen to the interview, then tune in this evening at 9 p.m. as Deutsch and Lauer talk politics, co-hosts, and what it feels like when that alarm goes off at 4 a.m.

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Filed under: Guest Host Week
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Susan

    Tell Matt Lauer to dump Ann Curry from the Today Show! She is the reason many of us have turned to GMA!

    May 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Joe

    I understand why some people are sensitive. I watched the interview and Donny gave complements to the other members of the Today Show but when he got to Al Rocker he called him a "Thug." I'm sure he was joking, but it was classless.

    May 30, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Pat

    The Today show has become tabloid TV. They beat a story to death and Ann Curry is sickening in interviews with families who are grieving. Interesting guests are rushed through to make more time for tabloid stuff. CBS has a much better, more informative show these days.

    May 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jo Jo

      I agree with the comments in regards to Ann Curry. I hope they go with an "unknown" to replace her. Savannah is a great interviewer and does well when providing legal comments but seems a little ill at ease in the anchor position – – she is professional but not someone with a warm personality. Natalie is nice but boring. I don't think is all Ann Curry's fault, however. The show has become very formulaic, boring, and predictable. What is Al Roker's purpose? The shopping deals segments – – basically should be on QVC. The occasional shelter dog makeovers – – they could be using the same dogs over and over for all I know. We need something to cover that 3 hour – – Go to Michelle in London and spend a ton of boring time on the Royals - any Royal will do! Whatever Michelle Obama is into – – we need a major segment on it STAT! Pick any show on NBC now – – lets do a feature on it and gush over the stars! Pick any show on NBC in the past – – lets do a feature on it and gush over how we used to be great! The financial segment has potential but the answers are so basic so common sense you rarely get good information – – well, before you do anything with that money you need to start a budget. Any real issue faced by real people that makes it seem like life isn't good right now in the USA, turn into a positive - lost your job? now you can find your self and start a winery or spend more time with your kids and everyone loves downsizing, losing all your stuff, and cutting coupons together! I used to like Matt Lauer but even he is a celebrity pushover and schmoozer – – I'd hate to be left off a guest list! I am so over the Today show. Sometimes I watch GMA but it is very tabloid and George makes me uncomfortable because he is so uncomfortable. I will check in with CBS because I like Rebecca Jarvis and sometimes she is on there. Gayle King is not right for the anchor and Charlie is dismissive to the other anchors. Fox in the Morning is boring. I have basically stopped watching morning shows except my local weather and traffic.

      June 4, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Jody

    Can I get a transcript of the Matt Lauer interview? He said some important and vital information, I felt, about the Today Show and the service afforded to the staff, efc. I work for a college, and we could all benefit from that shared sentiment.

    May 31, 2012 at 3:09 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Dianna

    Matt get rid of Ann Curry that'll help with ratings. I watched the show regularly until she took over after Meredith. Now, I cringe when Ann starts talking and I often change the channel. There is absolutely no chemistry between the two of them to the point that Matt looks uncomfortable sometimes when she goes off script. She asks the most AWFUL interview questions. She also appears misinformed about major issues and in way over her head with political guests.

    May 31, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. pat

    I agree with Donna Ann Curry does not have the right personality to be a co-host. she was excellant at the news desk , but lacks in her abilities as a co host I have been watchig the Today show for many years but now at times switch to GMA or CBS because of the manner she handles interviews.. put her back to news and replace with Savannah or Natalee

    May 31, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. michiganhockey11

    The weekend women are a lot hotter. Maybe they would draw better ratings?

    May 31, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Julia

    I agree that Ann, although very sweet, is not up for cohosting the today show? I think Savanah is more fun and a better interviewer. I now switch back and forth between FOX and NBC after the first hour of the Today Show. Please less cooking, dieting with Joy, but keep the professional segment with Donny,Star and Nancy. They are great!

    May 31, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. JJ

    It is clear to me (and apparently many many many others) that the Today Show really went down hill when Ann Curry stepped up to the anchor seat. Her interviews are terrible. She stumbles and asks the most ridiculous questions. I actual heard her one day ask a politician to 'promise' something! Are we all 12? Can we pinky-swear next? And what politician is going to promise anything, especially to a news anchor. We all poked fun of Katie flirting with guests, but she at least gave good interviews and asked good questions, and Meredith was a sweetheart and really came to be great. I hate switching from the Today Show because I really like Matt Lauer. But enough is enough. Its so painful to watch.

    June 1, 2012 at 2:49 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. NJR

    Although I hate to say it, I often cringe when Ann Currie conducts interviews. I'm sure she's nice as pie, but she stumbles through interviews which also makes it appear that she hasn't done her homework. She also seems insincere. Unfortunatately, I don't think that anyone has really had the chemistry with Matt since Katie left.

    June 1, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Pat

    There is no chemistry between Matt and Ann. Put her back as a correspondent but get her out of the anchor chair. I cringe when she interviews families who have had a tragedy. I believe. She is the reason GMA beat the Today show.

    June 1, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  12. martha

    Ann Curry is horrible in her new position. Please find someone else before you lose all the today viewers. I too change the channel when she comes on. It is just too painful to watch. Please forget the cooking segments, so sic of them.

    June 3, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Marilene

    The honesty of your posting shines thrugoh

    September 7, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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