Matt Lauer says NBC didn't properly handle Ann Curry's exit

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   March 11, 2013 at 1:57 PM   |   Comments

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March 11 (UPI) -- "Today" has taken a massive hit to the ratings since Ann Curry was unceremoniously ousted last year, and in an interview with the Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz, Matt Lauer finally weighed in on the departure that rocked the morning show world.

Lauer's public image took a hit during the chaotic transition from Curry to Savannah Guthrie, but the longtime anchor said network executives made the final decision.

“I don’t think the show and the network handled the transition well. You don’t have to be Einstein to know that,” Lauer told Kurtz.

“It clearly did not help us. We were seen as a family, and we didn’t handle a family matter well," he added.

According to the report, Lauer offered to resign when network brass said they were unhappy with the co-anchors' decided lack of onscreen chemistry.

"When Matt was informed that we had made this decision, his good counsel was to go slow, to take care of Ann, and to do the right things,” says Steve Capus, who stepped down last month as NBC News president. “He was quietly and publicly a supporter of Ann’s throughout the entire process. It is unfair that Matt has shouldered an undue amount of blame for a decision he disagreed with."

The Peacock and Lauer have been working to improve the show's image since the PR meltdown, even organizing a friendly lunch date for the "Today" host and Curry back in December.

Watch Curry's emotional goodbye below:

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