TODAY show host MATT LAUER’s wife is begging her hubby to “calm down” before he has a heart attack, say sources.
Upset over slipping ratings, the Type-A TV personality has been barking orders on the set, and his spouse of 14 years, Annette Roque, fears the stress could send him to an early grave.
“Matt is all wound up because ‘Today’ has been trailing ‘Good Morning America’ in the ratings for several weeks after steadily trouncing the competition for years,” revealed a show insider. “He’s taken the whole thing deeply to heart. He feels he has to right the ship, but Annette is worried sick he’s going to have a coronary.”
In his relentless drive to boost ratings, the 54-year-old perfectionist has become “a slave driver,” said the source.
“It’s made him insufferable to deal with and sent his blood pressure soaring.
“Annette has been begging Matt to cool down and let everyone do their jobs.”
The “Today” ratings have tumbled since the firing of Ann Curry in June, and many fans pin the blame squarely on Matt, who was said to want someone younger and hipper as a co-host.
“Matt voiced his displeasure with Ann, saying they had no chemistry together,” divulged the source, adding that not everyone on the “Today” set felt the same way.
“Ann’s pal Al Roker fired back with a snarky on-air comment, seemingly aimed at Lauer, about one of them being ‘thrown under the bus.’”
And Matt’s “likability” has plummeted 25 percent, according to Q Scores, an influential survey used by companies and advertisers to make major decisions.
Matt’s wife believes if everyone stays composed and confident, the show will fix itself, said the source. “But she’s worried the stress of trying to save ‘Today’ could send her husband to the hospital.”