12/01/2012 10:22 am ET Updated Jan 31, 2013

NBC News Denies Report Matt Lauer Could Be Fired Over 'Today' Ratings

NBC News found itself shooting down yet another rumor about "Today" on Friday.

Radar reported that Alexandra Wallace, the newly installed executive overseeing the troubled morning show, had informed her bosses that she might have to fire Matt Lauer if ratings for the show continue to lag behind "Good Morning America." It was not a report that made much sense -- Lauer was just signed to an extremely lucrative new contract earlier in the year -- but Wallace spoke on the record to the New York Post to rebuff it.

"There is absolutely no truth to this," she said. "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."

The show has defended itself on the record several times before. Lauer hit back at critical pieces in the Post and Daily News in September, and several NBC executives, including NBC News president Steve Capus, have backed him in interviews. Capus also lashed out at the tabloid stories, telling the Daily Beast --in an oddly similar statement as Wallace's -- that "there has also been a lot of mean-spirited piling-on, which has been manufactured by many anonymous sources."



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