Like many of the TV industry's top achievers, Matt Lauer always had a reputation as something of a micromanager at the 'Today' show.
And it seems that even in, ahem, ‘retirement’, he still hasn’t learned to take a back seat.
Page Six reports that the disgraced “Today” show host, who was fired in November after being accused of sexual misconduct, has been shooting off notes to producers from his Hamptons estate giving unsolicited feedback on the latest episodes.
Sources say Lauer recently sent a producer an email saying that he felt they had used the wrong music to kick off a segment.
As one can imagine, the recipients of these helpful little notes have not been particularly thrilled, although an NBC spokesperson declined to comment on the claim to Page Six.
At the time of his dismissal, Lauer’s corner made much of the fact that he would be retreating fully from public life, laying low in at his considerable Hamptons estate and playing golf.
The impression that Lauer was apparently intending to project was that of a suitably chastened individual, although cynics suggested he would actually be out of view because he would be spending a great deal of his time with his lawyers and trying to save his marriage of 20-years to Annette Roque.
So it was slightly jarring when Hoda Kotb told E! News that Lauer had been among the first to text her and offer his congratulations after she was officially appointed the new host of the Today program having stood in for Lauer for several weeks – even though her pay packet will reportedly be a fraction of Lauer’s $20 - $25m.
NBC sources say Kotb landed a $7 million-a-year deal — the same as co-host Savannah Guthrie.
One show insider told Page Six, “Hoda isn’t complaining about the money. She has landed the big job she always dreamed of, and most definitely deserves. Plus, Matt’s salary reflected the long time he was on the show — 25 years. If things go well, Hoda could ask for more next time if she re-ups her contract. But the figures underline the huge wage disparity at NBC News.”
Now Lauer just needs to take a deep breath, and let it go.