As if Matt Lauer’s swift fall from grace wasn’t embarrassing enough for him and the NBC network, the data gathered since his departure is sure to add salt to his wounds. Like him or not, the guy was one of the most recognizable faces in news media, having been around for a long time. Due to his stature, and the supposed positive influence his presence had on the ratings, Lauer was given a salary the rivaled most professional athletes, taking home north of $20 million a year.
While Lauer won’t be hurting for money anytime soon, his pride is sure to take a hit, as are the folks in charge of hiring at NBC, because in the days since he was fired, the network’s ratings have taken a surprising turn for the better.
As reported at Page Six, while most would expect that the firing of the face of NBC’s “Today” show would do some damage to the ratings, the exact opposite is happening.
Rather than find something else to watch, viewers are flocking to the “Today” show. The numbers are in, and for the second consecutive week, the first two hours of the NBC morning program surged ahead of the show’s main rival, “Good Morning America.”
But the news gets better than that for NBC. The show was able to acquire more viewers in the 25 to 45 demographic than its rival, which is the most coveted group when it comes to advertisers, and also in the overall audience, too. It’s the first time “Today” has beaten “GMA” in overall viewers since mid-December last year.
While “Today” often wins in the coveted demographic category, it usually loses when it comes to total viewership. The first two weeks of the post-Lauer era are certainly good news for NBC, which is probably ecstatic at the good news after drawing so much negative attention due to Lauer’s behind the scenes antics.
However, this could very well be a temporary bump that’s occurring simply because folks are wanting to see what the show is like without its long-time anchor. Also, to see how the network goes about addressing the scandal. Who knows if they’ll stick around long-term. Regardless, NBC will certainly welcome the news, but the real challenge will be giving these new viewers a reason to stick around.
Source: Page Six