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Matt Lauer Wanted NBC To Hire Crisis P.R. Team In Wake Of Ann Curry Firing, Network Refused

Matt Lauer put on a dapper tux – and his best game face — at the star-studded Time 100 gala in New York Tuesday night – the same day the new tell-all book, Top Of The Morning: Inside The Cutthroat World Of Morning TV, hit stores.

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And now, we learning that in wake of Ann Curry’s disastrous dismissal from TODAY last summer, Lauer urged NBC to bring in a crisis public relations team to help turn the tide of seemingly unending negative press that followed her firing – but network honchos refused.

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According to Wednesday’s New York Post, in wake of the debacle, Lauer has been “taking matters into his own hands,” a source explained, by taking a more active role in helping oversee p.r. plans.

“Matt’s wanted to bring in an outside p.r. agency,” a source told the Post’s Page Six. “He lost faith and has wanted a crisis team in place. Since they haven’t hired an outside agency, he’s taking matters into his own hands.”

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Despite NBC’s refusal to bring in outside help, the paper reports the Peacock Network did, at one time, consider it.

Page Six says another source said that Today interviewed outside firms as far back as last fall, months after Curry’s firing sent the once popular program into a ratings freefall, thereby allowing rival Good Morning America to claim bragging rights as the new #1 morning show.

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“They were looking for [outside firms] in the fall,” the source said. “But it was a case of the higher-ups at Comcast not wanting to bring someone in.”

A rep for TODAY declined to comment when contacted by the Post.