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‘Today’ EP Don Nash: ‘We Hope Matt [Lauer] Stays Forever’

The executive producer of NBC’s “Today” show, Don Nash, talks to TV Guide‘s Stephen Battaglio about the drama surrounding the show and co-anchor Matt Lauer. Nash weighs in on focus group results about Lauer and the show, and recent news that NBC had reached out to Anderson Cooper about possibly joining the program at some point:

NBC News executives also insist Lauer’s role is secure — despite the fact that one of them made a call to CNN’s Anderson Cooper to gauge his interest in the co-anchor job down the road. While Cooper is said not to be interested, it’s not unrealistic for NBC to start thinking about a successor to Lauer, who has an option in his contract to leave at the end of 2014. “We hope Matt stays forever,” Nash says, “but you’re always looking for talent because you want the person to grow into the job and you want some time to groom them.”

When they were asked what would make them stop watching the NBC program, “every one of them said, ‘If Matt Lauer were to leave,’” Nash says. “Their opinions didn’t square with what we had been reading in the papers and on websites.”

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