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Today Show Staff Fear for Their Jobs After NBC Announce 500 Job Losses

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: americans, obama, politics, news, usa )

- 1980 days ago -
A number of employees were handed their pink slips on Monday at the same time it was announced 500 employees, or 1.5 per cent of its work force, will be cut.

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Cam V (417)
Thursday November 15, 2012, 12:59 pm
Following NBC's announcement layoffs are being made in the entertainment division, those who hoped Matt Lauer would do a Jay Leno and take a pay cut should prepare to be disappointed, according to reports.

It was revealed today that the Today co-host - who earns $30million a year for his role - will not be saving jobs at the morning show by offering to take slash his salary - despite Matt being one of the reasons the show is in trouble.

A number of employees were handed their pink slips on Monday at the same time it was announced 500 employees, or 1.5 per cent of its work force, will be cut.

A source told RadarOnline: 'It's only a matter of time before job cuts are made in the NBC news division, which includes the Today show.

'Staffers are convinced there will be significant job losses because of the cost-cutting measures that are being done across the board by Comcast, which now owns a majority stake in NBC.

'The crew believes that some of the potential cuts could be avoided if Matt agreed to a pay cut. His salary is a whopping $30 million dollars a year, and it’s seriously crippling the show.

'But he has made it pretty clear that he won’t take a pay decrease, so instead the staffers are in line for the chop.'

Two months ago, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno eliminated about two dozen of its crew in an effort to reduce the late-night program's budget.

Leno took a voluntary 50 per cent pay cut, which single-handedly slimmed the show's overall budget by 20 per cent. Even with this, 20 staff members lost their jobs.

Alexandra Wallace is gradually being brought in as executive producer of the show, while current Jim Bell is being phased out, much to the chagrin of Lauer.

A source close to the situation said the Today stalwart is ‘not happy that Bell…has been forced out,’ adding that Lauer never had a good working relationship with Wallace - who is known to be a longtime supporter of ousted Ann Curry.

It has also been rumored she is planning on cutting back Lauer's airtime, recognizing that viewers are tuning out in their droves because of him.

A show insider told RadarOnline: 'Matt's on air reporting and interviews for the Today show are going to be cut back because Alexandra recognizes that he is widely unpopular and many view him to be responsible for Ann Curry being fired from the co-host spot.

'This isn't personal, but Alexandra will be doing whatever is necessary to get the show back in first place, even if that means ruffling Lauer's feathers.

'Look for Willie Geist, one of the co-hosts of the third hour, to be featured more during the first two hours of the show because viewers absolutely love him. Willie comes across as genuine and warm, unlike Matt Lauer.'

Wallace, who previously worked with NBC News and CBS, will also challenge Lauer’s wish to use only NBC-paid experts to remark on current events, the source said, so as to be more applicable to Today’s viewers.

A spokesperson for NBC did not immediately return MailOnline’s request for comment.

Mr Bell, who had worked for the show since 2005, was responsible for the choice to broadcast this summer’s Olympics on a delay, so that the events shot live in London would then be shown at prime time in the U.S.

The executive decision caused outrage, as viewers missed out on London’s Opening Ceremonies, gymnast Gabby Douglas’ stunning gold medal-winning performance, and sprinter Usain Bolt’s 100m victory hours after they actually happened.

Bell will go on to be the full-time executive producer of the network's Olympic coverage.

He was also responsible for what many thought was an offensive overlook of a national moment of silence on the 11th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Rather than airing the moment, the Today show aired a segment with Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner talking about her breast implants.

NBC is expected to officially announce the departure of Bell soon, after the morning program lost its 16-year consecutive ratings win to the competition.

The set at Studio 1A in New York's Rockefeller Center has been in a state of constant flux, with a revolving door among the cast and a lack of viewer confidence in the show that once dominated morning television.

Bell, who started his career as a sport's producer, took the helm at Today seven years ago - taking on the role when the show was at the height of its success in 2005.

The program has long been seen to be untouchable with its 16-year lead among viewers but ABC's Good Morning America has given the NBC show a run for their money.

n April, Today lost in the ratings battle to GMA and have continued to do so since, which has grown in popularity among the am sect with its full-loving crew of Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos.

In response to the crushing loss, Today said farewell to Ann Curry, who was crowned the co-host of the show in 2011 after serving as the newsreader for years, but her unceremonious exit did not sit well with viewers.

'This is not as I expected to ever leave this couch,' she said on June 28, when she gave an emotional goodbye to viewers.

Rumors were rampant that Matt Lauer, the long serving co-host, had been unhappy with Curry's performance and had pushed for her departure but Bell came forward as the fall guy, saying he had decided to push Curry out.

'We made some tough calls,' Bell told The Hollywood Reporter in a soul-baring interview in September.

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Jae A (316)
Thursday November 15, 2012, 2:05 pm
Oh forgot to comment on the photo...great as it does look a lot like Ann Romney doesn't it.

Rita White (1)
Saturday November 17, 2012, 2:08 pm
how can one person be worth 30 mil a year and not care that now with
christmas around the corner people with children will be out of a job? not to mention be without health insurance for their families while they look for work. it seems to be another example of I have mine and so what if you don't. where is the empathy??????????????

Patrice M (84)
Monday November 19, 2012, 9:25 pm
Reality: The Today Show's ratings have fallen under the carpet since they threw out one of their anchors on that show and replaced her with a younger woman. Women are boycotting the Today show.

But republican fiction is always more fun. So keep spinning, Cam.
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