NBC has created a new "TODAY" campaign starring Matt Lauer and Al Roker in a bid to quickly revamp the brand - and Lauer's image - but the efforts aren't working out as planned, according to a report.
The network has launched a new commercial starring Lauer and Roker where they refer to the past in a move to boost the image for the former leading morning show. The footage portrays the co-anchors as "one big happy family," but the idea hasn't panned out as planned. "TODAY" is still losing viewers in record numbers ever since NBC booted Ann Curry last June.
"The crew is just left scratching their heads over the ad," a source told Radar Online. "This is part of NBC's great new plan to try and take back first place from 'Good Morning America,' but it just isn't working."
The insider close to the situation shared that "TODAY" staff members agree that the only way the morning program would bounce back after being bumped by "GMA" is if the NBC execs were to replace Lauer.
"If NBC wants TODAY to be number one again the only thing that will get it done is to dump Matt Lauer," the insider said. "The staff recognizes this and if Matt is honest with himself, he should recognize that he is a liability to the show at this point. If Matt had any class he would quietly resign and move on. No one is counting on that happening anytime soon though."
The insider also shared that it was a poor choice for NBC to put the focus on Lauer for the ads, because his popularity has declined significantly.
"Why focus the ad on Matt Lauer? This is the TODAY Show, not the Matt Lauer Show....the entire cast should be used for future ads. Willie Geist and Hoda Kotb are wildly popular, you have to remind the public why they should watch the show....not remind them of the one reason people aren't, Matt Lauer!"
Enstars reported that Lauer has been taking the blame for Curry's exit ever since her disastrous departure from "TODAY" last year. According to TMZ, complete strangers that are Curry supporters have yelled at Lauer in the street, saying, "You're a bad guy," and the treatment has left Lauer "freaked out." Lauer has been "miserable" because Curry fans have made hurtful statements such as "You got Ann fired. Does that make you happy?"
"It's driving him crazy," an NBC source told TMZ. "He's so unhappy."