Matt Lauer Standing By Savannah Guthrie Despite Ratings Crisis

//savannah guthrie lan

Aug. 22 2012, Published 6:00 a.m. ET

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By Jen Heger - Assistant Managing Editor

Matt Lauer is standing by his embattled TODAY show co-host Savannah Guthrie, despite a major ratings crisis, is exclusively reporting.

"Matt is absolutely standing by Savannah despite the fact that Good Morning America has routinely been beating the TODAY show in the ratings. 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," a source close to the situation tells us.

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"Matt, Savannah and fellow cast member Natalie Morales are all extremely close and have been referred 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," the insider added.

As previously reported, in the days after Curry was sacked from her co-host gig on the TODAY show, Angelina Jolie reached out to the veteran journalist and told her if NBC wanted an interview with her, or fiance Brad Pitt, it would be conducted by Curry, and definitely not any of the current cast of the embattled morning news program.

"Angelina reached out to Ann Curry after she was fired from her gig on the TODAY show and was very clear, if ANY news program from NBC wants an interview with her, or Brad, Ann will be the only one to do it. Angelina has tremendous respect for Ann because of the work she has done on bringing awareness to Darfur. Ann has developed a professional relationship with Angelina and Brad, and they trust her implicitly because of her integrity. Their working relationship has developed into a friendship, and it meant the world to Ann that Angelina had reached out to her. Angelina made it clear to Ann that no one from the current TODAY show cast would get an interview with Angelina or Brad, and with rumors of an upcoming wedding for the couple, NBC will lose any interviews with the actors in the future if Ann isn't allowed to do it," the insider previously told us.

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Nielsen ratings released Monday indicate ABC's Good Morning America beat TODAY last week, despite huge momentum for the NBC morning program, which was coming off two dominant ratings weeks with their exclusive coverage from the London Olympics.

Guthrie is "extremely smart and has a wicked sense of humor. Matt has a familiar ease with Savannah that he just didn't have with Ann (Curry). Matt has made it known to the brass at NBC that he is very happy with Savannah, and he knows the clout he has at the network," the source told us.



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