If you’re one of the millions who wakes up to The Today Show, your morning routine may soon look very different: According to Us Magazine, Natalie Morales and Willie Geist “were recently told they were fired.”
The anchors, who help lead the 9 o’clock hour, are reportedly making plans for their professional futures. Specifically, Natalie is supposedly in talks with ABC while Willie “has lined up a gig” at CBS.
However, the departures may not be done deals… The initial decision reportedly came from general manager Jamie Horowitz, who was then removed from the job.
“An executive went rogue and got fired for suggesting crazy ideas no one agreed with,” a NBC source said. (The G.M. was just put on the job in September, so Today will reportedly have to pay out the $3 million remaining on his contract.)
According to Page Six, the oft-villainized Matt Lauer was actually the one who fought to keep his co-anchors around.
“Savannah, Natalie and Willie Geist heard about the plan and talked to Matt, who went to [NBC News’ Deborah] Turness and told her, ‘I want to keep these people,’ so she fired Jamie,” an insider said. “Once again, Matt Lauer calls the shots at Today. The idea of bringing Jamie in was to bring change to the show to help beat GMA, but how can you fix it if nobody can make any changes?”
The Us Weekly source said there are other ideas floating around about how to shakeup the morning show, such as demoting Tamron Hall to MSNBC, adding NBC newcomer Josh Elliott as a newsreader and adding Hoda Kotb to the 9 o’clock hour.