Back in January, NBC News president Deborah Turness sent out this org chart of her senior leadership team. There was a slot to fill: SVP and GM of the “Today” show. Today, that position is open again.
This morning, insiders tell us Matt Lauer was among those who’d lost faith in his leadership, but that any goodwill Horowitz had earned from Turness and her boss, Pat Fili-Krushel, who both recruited Horowitz from ESPN earlier this year, had run out.
Horowitz had been making the rounds at the show since September. “He’s a really smart guy, and he’s been great at reaching out to us, getting our input, and so far we’re really impressed,” co-host Willie Geist told TVNewser two weeks ago.
It was in those meetings, from top talent, to the production assistants, that a profile began to emerge of an executive who would pit staffers against one another; a game of ‘Survivor,’ the Daily News called it, with people’s livelihoods at stake. “He was creating drama that wasn’t there,” an insider says.
Geist, who knows Horowitz personally, was among those angered by his antics. (Geist’s sister Libby worked with Horowitz at ESPN and is married to his former producing partner Kevin Wildes.)