Matt Lauer Is Gone — And the Ratings Reveal Exactly What Viewers Are Thinking

In the days since embattled TV journalist Matt Lauer was fired from his top post at NBC News, the network’s “Today” show has dominated.

According to Nielsen ratings shared by CBS New York, “Today” had more viewers than “Good Morning America” all five days last week, marking the first time the NBC show has topped its ABC competitor in about a year.

Lauer’s dismissal, which came after a colleague approached the network’s top brass with what was described as “a detailed complaint” regarding “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” was announced on Nov. 29. But despite the internal turmoil, “Today” is thriving, according to Variety:

“Today” for the first time in three months was the nation’s most watched morning-news program, defeating its main rival, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” by more than 539,000 viewers for the five days ending December 1st, or 12.4%. In the prior week, “GMA” won just 110,000 more viewers than “Today.”

The NBC program last week attracted an average of 4.9 million viewers, compared with an average of 4.36 million for “GMA” and an average of nearly 3.53 million for CBS’ “CBS This Morning.”

The spike, it should be noted, can probably be attributed in part to interest over Lauer’s unexpected ouster. Ad buyers told Variety they’re not expecting any notable ratings fluctuations once Lauer’s replacement anchor has been selected.

NBC has not publicly announced a timeline to find Lauer’s replacement.


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