Since Matt Lauer's quick termination at NBC last week, the network has reportedly struggled to find a proper replacement for the veteran host. But a source tells Entertainment Tonight that Today weekend co-host Craig Melvin is in the running for the job.
Melvin currently co-anchors Today's Saturday broadcast and works throughout the week as an anchor on MSNBC Live. The insider said that both the network and NBC News staff are supporters of the 38-year-old journalist.
“This would give the network the opportunity to make Melvin into a star at NBC,” the source said. “This would be clean slate.”
Though some believe Melvin is a solid successor, other NBC executives suggest he isn't the ideal man for the job. “I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup,” one network leader confessed, according to a source for Page Six.
There are also other potential replacements eyeing Lauer's coveted position. Willie Geist, MSNBC’s Morning Joe host and anchor of Sunday Today with Willie Geist, is also still being considered as the replacement. Geist may have a leg up for experience as he often fills in for Today hosts during the weekday morning broadcast.
A decision most likely won't be made until early next year, the source added.
Tapping Lauer's successor may be a rough process for NBC because the veteran host reportedly sabotaged the network's ability to groom one into the role.
“Matt killed off, in their infancy, every man who could succeed him at the time that he was ready to hang it up — so there’s nobody to take his place. And now NBC is paying the price," another source told Page Six.
Lauer was terminated on Tuesday evening after a colleague filed a complaint alleging "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace" against him. Today co-host Savannah Guthrie announced Lauer's firing on the Wednesday morning broadcast and following the news, multiple women began to speak out alleging misconduct on Lauer's behalf.
In a statement on Thursday, Lauer admitted "there's enough truth to these stories" to shame and embarrass him.
"Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full time job," Lauer said.