The Morning Show Wars Are Getting Downright Nasty: Matt Lauer Scowls in Anderson Cooper's General Direction

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | March 27, 2013 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | March 27, 2013 |

In the past few weeks, as Matt Lauer has attempted to rehabilite his image, lots of really sh*tty things have come out about the man, like the fact that he doesn't like to be filmed holding a knife or the fact that he never really liked Ann Curry in the first place.

It's become clear, in fact, that his popularity has plummeted. His likability rating -- or his Q score -- is hovering near Mel Gibson levels, and there's been a lot of discussion about kicking him to the curb. There's even been talk of Lauer taking over for Alex Trebek on "Jeopardy," which would be a softer landing than Lauer deserves.

The latest turn? Apparently, NBC approached Anderson Cooper about replacing Lauer, and Lauer found out, and Lauer pissed nails, according to Deadline.

I hear NBC toppers recently reached out to CNN's Anderson Cooper to replace Lauer on the show before the end of the year. After their initial approach to Cooper, I hear NBC reached out to Lauer to get his blessing about the changeover. But I heard they got pushback from the Today veteran, who contacted Cooper to express his disapproval. I also hear that call caught Cooper by surprise, as he had assumed Lauer had been brought on board before NBC began making overtures. Cooper has been one of the leading faces at CNN, though I hear his contract has an out, and he previously was able to do his syndicated daytime talk show in addition to his CNN program.

Lauer is a dick, and Anderson Cooper would be perfect for the "Today" show. But Cooper also filmed a pilot for a new CNN show recently with Kathy Griffin, seeking to capitalize on the chemistry they have on their New Year's Eve specials. Those two together, actually, would make for a fantastic morning show on any network. It wouldn't be very newsy, but it's always fun to watch Griffin make fun of Cooper and reduce him to embarrassed giggles. Anderson Cooper giggles, after all, could fuel the Internet. Plus, who doesn't want to see Griffin extract the real story out of this saga out of Cooper for the nation's televisual enjoyment?

I should add, too, that Letterman tried to pry some information out of Brian Williams last night over the situation, but Williams -- hilariously, awkwardly -- would have nothing to do with it.

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