. I don't think anyone can suggest the Lauer-Guthrie-Morales-Roker team is likely to be a winner any time soon.
But at the same time issue the 'team' has isn't uniquely Matt Lauer. Matt - love him or hate him - is probably a more dominant figure now than ever before because Al Roker is, ultimately a support player, and neither of the women - Guthrie or Morales - have large enough personalities or onscreen egos to rival him. Vieira and Couric both kept Lauer in his place more by appearing smart, strong (no offence intended) older women by his side. Guthrie, on the other hand, still acts like the dorky younger sister, and Morales always seems to struggle to find her place in the team. Ann Curry might not have had the right personality to sit next to Lauer as co-host, but she was a more prominent member of a well-oiled team that had better overall chemistry when she was news anchor to Lauer, Vieira and Couric, compared to Morales with Lauer and Guthrie.
And then again if Matt does go, I can't see how NBC lose Guthrie or Morales without having to completely rebuild the show - again.
I agree on all this, I think Hoda Kotb would have been a better replacement for Ann. I am not in favour of them using MSNBC as their recruiting ground for Today, in particular I think Willie Geist isn't right for their target audience either.
I hope they abandon the GMA style opening with all the presenters behind the desk as it just doesn't work when there is little chemistry between the hosts and when your news reader is as charisma free as Morales.
Ultimately, as badly as they dealt with her departure, I think Ann Curry becoming co-anchor was a downfall. I agree Hoda Kotb would have been a good choice - journalistic credentials (like Ann Curry although not to the same extent), and a personality (like Meredith). Savannah is fine, but nothing special. They could build a better rapport witt their audience if they didn't have such a variety of anchors & newsreaders though. Matt and Savannah alongside Natalie and Al do the first two hours, then Matt and Savannah disappear and Natalie and Al are joined by Willie Geist and often a 'celebrity' co-host, then for the fourth hour it's Kathie Lee and Hoda. Add into the mix a multitude of substitutes and weekend anchors, and you never know who is coming or going....
Meanwhile, Good Morning America and certainly CBS This Morning tend to be more fixed. Admittedly, they are only two hours long, but it is very rare for CBS to use any substitutes at all, excepting Anthony Mason who is the Saturday co-anchor. If Norah O'Donnell or Gayle King are off, they stick to just two co-anchors which works just fine. It kind of shows that a 'newsreader' role is a bit obsolete, really, and that two people can easily carry 2, 3 or more hours....
CBS have also shown that the traditional 'comedic' weatherman role is increasingly obsolete too. They provide only local weather forecasts, and don't seem to be losing viewers for this reason. They never had a weekday weatherman, although they did keep one on Saturdays who has since been scrapped too.