MEDIA
04/29/2013 09:48 am ET Updated May 02, 2013

Meredith Vieira: NBC News 'Blew It' With Matt Lauer

Even former "Today" co-host Meredith Vieira is admitting that NBC News did not handle Matt Lauer's crisis well.

Vieira recently defended Lauer to the New York Post, saying, "Even if [NBC] blew it from a PR point of view, you’ve got to move on. I think what is happening to Matt is really wrong."

He is largely seen as the force behind Ann Curry's messy ouster from "Today," and has been the subject of negative reports for the past year. His Q score — a measure for the popularity of television personalities — was down by 25 percent at one point. Recent accounts from the New York Times' Brian Stelter and New York magazine's Joe Hagan have added more fuel to the fire.

Lauer reportedly turned to Vieira for advice about his crisis. She assured him that the negative press would dissipate, and that everything would "be O. K."

The bad press has led "Today" to defend Lauer on multiple occasions. Most recently, Kathie Lee Gifford wanted to take out a full-page newspaper ad defending him.

Vieira left "Today" in 2011, but has maintained ties with her former co-host and the show. Last spring, she was brought in to guest host as ABC News ramped up the rivalry between the morning shows and brought in Katie Couric to guest host "Good Morning America."

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