“TODAY” host Matt Lauer has a bitter message for former co-host Ann Curry: Good riddance!
Sources say a long-running feud between the morning show stars has exploded again as Ann’s NBC contract comes up for renewal, and Matt’s doing his best to see that Ann – an NBC special correspondent – doesn’t sign it.
Lauer considers working with Curry “the worst experience of his professional life,” a source revealed, and that her weepy response to being ousted from “Today” was somehow “her ploy to try to ruin him.”
There’s already a Lifetime movie in the works that reportedly will not paint Matt and other morning hosts in a good light. It’s based on “New York Times” writer Brian Stelter’s book, “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.”
Curry, 57, can opt out of her current $12 million-per-year NBC correspondent deal early next year, and sour c e s say Lauer, 56, “is pushing for the network to lowball Ann so badly that she has no choice but to leave,” the source said.
Curry knew Matt was opposed to her being hired as his co-host, and claims it’s Lauer’s attitude that torpedoed her career on “Today,” said a close pal.
“Ann worked on the ‘Today’ news desk for 14 years before she replaced Meredith Vieira as co-host in June 2011,” the source noted.
“In all those years, Matt barely even acknowledged Ann when the cameras weren’t on them.
“Ann bent over backward to try and develop a relationship with him. She couldn’t even count the number of lunch dates that Matt blew off.
“So if Ann makes Matt uncomfortable by staying at NBC, she feels it’s just payback for the way he treated her.”
Curry scoffed at Lauer’s claim that he pleaded with NBC to give her more time to gel as co-host, added her pal.
“Ann believes that was patently BS,” said the source. “Matt acted like a kingmaker, and Ann feels that he set her up to fail.”
Meanwhile, Lauer has reportedly launched an all-out campaign to gain wider control over editorial decisions in a desperate effort to boost sagging ratings.