NBC's morning show Today still struggling in the ratings, but can the London 2012 Summer Olympics provide them with a much needed boost? (Photo : Reuters)
The rumor reel on what's going behind the scenes on the "Today" show is spinning again with who will replace co-host Matt Lauer.
Lauer signed a contact extension early last year but following the dismissal of Ann Curry and ratings still not rebounding, speculation is he could also be dismissed next.
Back in October, Latinos Post reported Willie Geist signing on to co-host the third hour of "Today" and will serve has the main fill-in co-host when Lauer is not available during the 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. hours. Geist did state at the time he isn't looking to replace Lauer.
"[Lauer is] the best that's ever been in that job and he'll be there as long as he wants to be," said Geist.
However, Radar Online reports Geist is being groomed to be Lauer's successor.
"Willie is absolutely being groomed to become Matt Lauer's replacement if the ratings don't improve. Willie has been filling in for Matt while he has been on vacation during the holidays and has been doing an phenomenal job," said a source to Radar.
The source added, ""Willie is so at ease and just an easygoing person, and therefore he makes everyone around him feel comfortable. Savannah and Willie get along very well, they always have. The crew of "Today" has lamented that Willie reminds them of Matt Lauer in his beginning days on the show. Matt has changed a lot and isn't comfortable in his own skin, and the viewers can see that. Willie absolutely isn't gunning for Matt's job. He is just showing up for work and doing what is asked of him."
"Today" Executive Producer Alexandra Wallace spoke out against the firing rumors last month, stating, "There is absolutely no truth to this. There have been some recent outrageous claims regarding Matt and the "Today" show, and an awful lot of piling on from nameless, faceless sources. These stories are wrong and irresponsible."
Would Geist make an acceptable successor to Lauer or should Lauer maintain his current gig?