NBC needs to get its house in order. Following the quick firing of newly hired executive Jamie Horowitz, rumors are brewing that Horowitz went as far as to fire Today Show c0-hosts Natalie Morales and Willie Geist before he got ousted. Is no one safe? (No one is safe.)
The plan was simple – except that nothing in the morning show world is simple. The Today Show is still in second place in the ratings, lagging behind ABC's Good Morning America. NBC News executives brought in Horowitz from ESPN to tackle that issue. But the change in the guard managed to stir up new competition (which is always brewing there under the surface, no matter how well they all seem to get along) between a number of hosts. According to Us Weekly:
Co-hosts Willie Geist and Natalie Morales "were recently told they were fired," an NBC source reveals exclusively in the new issue of Us Weekly. Morales, 42, is now in talks with ABC and Geist, 39, has lined up a gig at CBS, the insider tells Us.
But soon after those radical cuts were made, NBC removed general manager Jamie Horowitz, the most vocal proponent of the changes. In a memo obtained by Us Weekly, NBC News' Deborah Turness explained Horowitz — on the job since September — was simply "not the right fit." Now it's unclear whether Geist and Morales will indeed be exiting or whether the current regime will try to woo them back.
Fired by a boss who was then fired – what? (For what it's worth, as they do with most rumors, NBC denied that anyone was going anywhere and so far, it doesn't look like they are).
Other reports make it seem that even when the hosts were jockeying against each other for power, they managed to form a unified front against Horowitz. As Brian Stelter (author of the book Top of the Morning about the morning show wars) explains at CNN, Horowitz pissed everyone off during his short time at the helm of Today (he started in September and was fired this week):
Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Morales, and the other co-hosts of the show "banded together," said one person directly involved in the executive disaster.
Key off-camera staff members also quarreled with Horowitz as he conducted a "listening tour" at "Today."
"He seemed to alienate everyone all at once," another person directly involved said.
Stelter has also tweeted that Us Weekly's headline claiming that Morales and Geist were actually fired is "B.S."
Though it's unclear what exactly is so wrong with NBC that they've fucked things up yet again, one thing is obvious: Horowitz went in with the intention of shaking things up, and he did so in a way that was less than amenable to the people who had been working at NBC for far longer than he. As the Daily News reported, he apparently said things in meetings like, "If this were Survivor, who would you vote off the island?"
The answer this time was simple: him.
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