Is Matt Lauer to Blame For Today's Ratings Slide?

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You know a negative perception is starting to gain traction when an executive producer comes out to refute a story. That’s exactly what happened when The Today Show’sJim Bell rebutted the narrative to TV Guide that Matt Lauer had a hand in Ann Curry’s ejection from the one-time No. 1 morning show.

"I think Matt has been unfairly targeted here as somebody who bears some responsibility for the change," Bell told TV Guide Magazine. "I made the change."


Bell recognizes that Curry’s departure has damaged the show, but maintains it was the right decision.

"We certainly are aware that it could have gone better," he said. "There are a lot of different ifs and could-haves and would-haves. That's the call I made because it was the best thing for the show. We're moving forward with the full faith and confidence that the show is better, that the people we have on are in the right place."

Bell’s comments come in the wake of the New York Post’s headline “Matt Lauer Turns ‘Anchor Animal” and a report by New York Daily News that Lauer’s Q Score has plummeted 25 percent in a recent survey. 

In addition to the Curry controversy, The Today Show made a high profile stumble by pre-empting the September 11 anniversary moment of silence.  All this comes at a time when Good Morning America is making the NBC morning show sweat its ratings.