By Jen Heger - Radar Assistant Managing Editor
Amidst news that Good Morning America once again trounced TODAY in the ratings last week, staffers at the embattled morning news program are openly venting their ire at Matt Lauer and prefer weekend co-host, Lester Holt, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
"Staffers and producers at the TODAY show hold Matt Lauer responsible for the continued decline in the ratings because they hold him responsible for Ann Curry being fired," a source close to the situation tells Radar. "The staff wants Ann to be brought back and want Matt replaced with Lester Holt, but they know the odds of this happening are slim to none, because executives at the network have no interaction whatsoever with the TODAY show staff.
"Lester, like Ann, is very respected by the staff and is always a true class act. If Lester had been in Matt's shoes he never would have told the executive producer and honchos at NBC to fire Ann. Lester and Ann report the news, period, and don't engage in backstabbing antics."
As previously reported, Lauer is standing by his embattled TODAY co-host Savannah Guthrie, despite a major ratings crisis.
"Matt is absolutely standing by Savannah despite the fact that Good Morning America has routinely been beating the TODAY show in the ratings," a source previously told Radar. "Matt believes that the audience just needs to get comfortable and familiar with Savannah and viewers will return to the show that had been counted on by the execs at NBC as ratings gold. Matt, Savannah and fellow cast member Natalie Morales are all extremely close and have been referred to as the Three Musketeers. They often go to press movie screenings and can often be found in Matt's office discussing stories and just goofing off. Matt has a very adoring female fan club in Natalie and Savannah."
Meanwhile, Good Morning America has beaten TODAY in the first full week after the Olympics, rocking numbers of 4.654 million over TODAY's 4.399 million, according to ratings released on Thursday.