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Al Roker on the Morning Show Wars: ‘We Are Coming Back’

This year, NBC’s Al Roker nears his 35th anniversary with NBC.  But that hasn’t changed his new-kid-on-the-block perspective.

“It’s still kind of surreal, in that you’re on this show that’s part of broadcasting history,” Roker told TVNewser in Chicago Tuesday while in town on a book tour.  “It’s still kind of heady. You get a front row seat to history, and you get to do cool stuff. And you get paid! That’s not bad.”

In his 17 years with “Today,” he’s nearly experienced it all, including years of soaring ratings, and, more recently, when the numbers have fallen back to earth. Roker chooses to find the silver lining.

“Every now and then, it doesn’t hurt to get a kick in the slats, to remind you that you gotta work hard, that you gotta do what you need to do,” says Roker. “Today’s” turbulent year has included slipping to second place after 15 years of being No. 1 and the messy departure a few months later of Ann Curry from the anchor chair.

“Was it difficult? Absolutely. But at the end of the day, you are defined by how you respond to tough times,” says Roker.

“And the good news is that we are coming back. The demos are responding and everything else will follow.”

After the jump, watch video of Roker discussing his tenure at NBC, his future in TV, and why he feels Willard Scott may have left the morning show game too soon.

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