Matt Lauer 'TODAY' Staff Wants Kathie Lee Gifford Out After Layoffs (REPORT)
NBC's TODAY show staffers reportedly regret signing Kathie Lee Gifford's April letter she created to support Matt Lauer.
National Enquirer reported on Wednesday that the TODAY staff that provided signatures now feel "betrayed" after nine employees were laid off after they signed the petition.
Gifford garnered signatures from TODAY crew and cast members including weatherman Al Roker, Lauer's co-anchor Savannah Guthrie and his fill-in Willie Geist in bid to prevent Lauer's rumored exit in April. Gifford is a co-anchor who appears on the fourth hour of TODAY alongside Hoda Kotb.
"Many members would like nothing more than to have their name stricken from the letter,'" a show source told National Enquirer. "One staffer told me, 'A lot of people here feel betrayed. We all signed that letter, but when the shoe was on the other foot, Matt did nothing to support us,'" said the insider.
Members of the Peacock network feel so betrayed that they secretly would like to see both Lauer and Gifford removed from TODAY.
"Everyone at Today has not only had it up to here with Matt. They're disgusted with her too," said the source. "They'd like to see both Matt and Kathie Lee ridden out on a rail!"
New York Daily News published a copy of the letter in April provided by Gifford, which reads:
"We the people of the Today show who work side by side, day by day, year in and year out with Matt Lauer are tired of unfounded and unrelenting stories by faceless characters regarding his character and reputation. No one has coerced us to sign this. With our signatures we stand in support of our colleague and friend."
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Gifford told the newspaper that she came up with the idea out of frustration from seeing the negative publicity her friend acquired in the media.
"We read the same newspapers and saw all the media reports, and it was frustrating for all of us watching it day to day and feeling a little helpless," Gifford told New York Daily News. "No one seemed to be interested in the truth, and that was really frustrating for me because I have a deep sense of injustice about things."
"I don't like somebody taking credit for something they had nothing to do with, and I certainly don't like somebody taking blame for something that they're not responsible for."
Gifford said she planned to use the letter of support in a full-page in a local paper. Lauer later revealed that he nixed the idea.
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Lauer described Gifford's support as a very sweet in an interview with Jay Leno on Tonight Show. He called Gifford "one of the dearest people" he knows as well as kind and compassionate
"My mother always told me in times of adversity, you find out who your friends are," Lauer told Leno. "Kathie Lee's a great friend."
RadarOnline reported on July 31 that nine TODAY staff members were laid off due to the morning show's yearlong ratings decline. A source told the website that there will be additional layoffs in the near future. Lauer's colleagues were reportedly disappointed he refused to take a pay cut from his $25 million contract to help save staffers' jobs at the time.