My how things have change in a year.
In early April 2012 Matt Lauer put his signature on a new contract that was going to pay him over $20 million a year to co-host the Today Show.
"Matt is the franchise, and our franchise player has decided to keep leading our team,” NBC News president Steve Capus told the NY Times.
He was the Golden Boy of NBC and the Today Show.
Now has we enter April 2013, Steve Capus is gone and Matt Lauer's name is Mud.
The shine is long gone from the golden boy.
In the past 2 weeks, story after story has been written about Lauer's fall from grace. The cycle started off as a puff piece by Howard Kurtz that was intended to try get some of Lauer's lost reputation back.
But, since Kurtz's story which looked like it could have been written by the NBC PR department, the stories that followed were not so flattering.
The New York Times followed that with a story about how Lauer's Q-score has taken a dive quicker that comedian Louie Anderson off the high dive on ABC's splash.
NY Magazine then came out with a 6,000+ word article that painted Lauer as the guy that stabbed Ann Curry in the back.
The story basically said he was responsible for Today's fall from the top of the ratings game.
But it was a short blip on the website Deadline that may show how much trouble Lauer is really in at NBC.
The site reported that NBC looked into replacing Lauer with CNN's Anderson Cooper. It confirmed for the first time that NBC is looking at life without Matt.
NBC quickly tried to play down the report. "As we’ve said before, Matt Lauer is the best in the business," Today Show EP Alexandra Wallace said in a statement. "We want him in the 'Today' show anchor chair for many years to come.”
But, Wallace did not deny that they talked to CNN's Cooper.
And a quote on the Huffington Post shows the same. An NBC News executive also told HuffPost, "NBC News has many exploratory talks with talent inside and outside of the network, but to read anything specific into that is presumptuous."
Since Curry was dumped from Today, NBC suits have been publicly loyal to Lauer.
While they left Ann Curry to twist in the wind and have basically muzzled her from saying anything about her ouster, Lauer has been allowed to talk freely. The NBC executives have backed him, but the reputation rebuilding is failing to say the least.
It now appears that NBC is slowly moving towards accepting that Matt Lauer is more than damage goods and he might just be broken.
NBC is now exploring life without Lauer.
When the Curry was kicked to the curb and Lauer first started catching the heat for it, one of the Top TV Agents in the business told FTVLive "I don't think he (Lauer) recovers from this."
At the time it was hard to believe that would be the case.
It's not so hard to believe now.
The Golden Boy's Goose could be cooked.