The Today show is a-searching for someone to take up the space that longtime host Matt Lauer was rightly booted off of after being accused of sexual misconduct, and it looks as if MSNBC Live anchor Craig Melvin is in the running.
A source told Entertainment Tonight that the 38-year-old Melvin, who anchors MSNBC Live weekdays and is also the co-anchor of Today on Saturday, has fans among NBC and the staff, and the company could be tapping him for a much-needed upgrade.
“This would give the network the opportunity to make Melvin into a star at NBC,” the source said. “This would be [a] clean slate.”
There are, of course, other options, such as Willie Geist, who often serves as a fill-in anchor on the show. Nonetheless, this is still a huge decision that probably will not be made until next year, the source said.
There were also murmurs about Hoda Kotb replacing Lauer, but the source said that would be “highly doubtful,” given the success of Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford’s hour.
Page Six notes that Lauer was not only an alleged creep; he reportedly was so ruthless and insecure about his position as NBC’s golden boy that he “killed off, in their infancy, every man who could succeed him at the time that he was ready to hang it up—so there’s nobody to take his place. And now NBC is paying the price,” according to industry insiders.
This has essentially left NBC without a true backup plan.
That being said, because irony (and karma) never fails to deliver, Today’s ratings have actually gone up since the network unceremoniously dumped Lauer, attracting more viewers than Good Morning America, its rival at ABC, all five days last week—the first time in almost a year, according to the Associated Press.