By Jen Heger - Radar Assistant Managing Editor
Matt Lauer personally called the CEO of Comcast, Brian Roberts, and pressured his boss to air a Hurricane Sandy relief concert and telethon on the Peacock network on Friday night, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
"Matt was on the phone calling Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Sting to ask them to participate in the relief concert he was organizing to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy. No one asked Matt to do this, it's something he wanted to do. Matt's family evacuated from their home in the Hamptons before the storm hit, and they are safe. However, Matt knows how lucky he is, and has personal friends that have been devastated by the hurricane," a source close to the situation tells RadarOnline.com exclusively.
"Matt wants to use his media platform to do everything he can to help everyone affected by the storm. Matt was getting a little resistance from the honchos at the network about airing a concert so soon after the storm, and on a Friday night. So Matt personally called Brian and made his case for the special, and the celebs he has lined up for it. Brian gave the green light to air the concert on Friday night, and Matt was very grateful. Matt wasn't going to take no for an answer."
Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together will be hosted by Matt and the special will air on NBC, Bravo, CNBC, E!, MSNBC, and will air live on the East Coast at 8 p.m., and tape delayed on the West Coast. Money donated will be given to the Red Cross. Christina Aguilera, Jimmy Fallon, Brian Williams, and other celebrities are being added to the line-up.
The day after the storm hit, when Lauer wasn't working he "was phoning his celebrity friends personally asking them to participate in the telethon. Matt even got Bon Jovi to agree to perform, and he had been scheduled to perform in Europe. Jon has postponed his concert in Europe, and gladly accepted the invitation," an insider tells RadarOnline.com.
"Bruce Springsteen and Matt are very good friends, and Matt knew New Jersey's favorite son would be a part of it. This is a side of Matt that the general public doesn't see, because he just does these sorts of things all the time, with no attention or little fanfare."
As we previously reported of Thursday, the storm had killed at least 82 people, 34 of whom died in New York City; power outages to at least 5.6 million households; property damage of $20 billion; and between $10 billion to $30 billion in lost business.