The NBC News Group, including NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC, held an upfront presentation today at the New York Public library in midtown Manhattan. The Celeste Bartos Forum in the Library was lit up in shades of purple and blue, as media buyers and advertisers mingled with NBC News executives and talent.
Newly-minted MSNBC 8 PM host Chris Hayes was there, as was Matt Lauer, the co-anchor of “Today” who has been at the center of a number of news stories of late. He seemed to take the stories in stride, joking with Savannah Guthrie onstage:
“I would like to tackle what might be a teeny white elephant in the room,” Lauer said to laughter from the crowd. “We all love covering the news, we hate being the news, and so I would like to say on that subject–from the bottom of my heart–that I promise to spend all of my time and energy over the next several months trying to keep Savannah out of the headlines. ”
We want to go back to the most-watched morning program and the least talked about morning program,” he added.
Lauer sat next to NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke during the lunch, and “Today” was the final NBC News property pitched during the presentation, emphasizing how important the show is to the network.