Matt Lauer getting most of the backlash from Ann Curry's departure on Today.

Matt Lauer getting most of the backlash from Ann Curry’s departure on Today.

I’ve known Matt Lauer for years, beginning when he was an anchor, with Jill Rappaport of all people, on the locally syndicated show “People Are Talking.” It’s sad to see what’s happening now as he teeters on the brink of a total career meltdown.

For a chilling story of how the TV-business works these days check out New York magazine’s cover story on the behind-the-scenes machinations at “The Today Show.”

The first thought I had when I finished the story was, how can so many well-paid (and, I do mean well paid) people so consistently make so many bad decisions. It’s a cynical, seriously competitive business. Sad all around … for us and them!

Of course, it wasn’t always this way. Back in the day, the local channels (New York’s Ch. 9 in this case) filled their local programming slots with a variety of shows that essentially took three or four stories and made a show out of it, sort of a bush-league “60 Minutes.”

Matt was profiling an artist I represented on his “People Are Talking” show. We filmed for three days and actually became friends … all of us.

Indepth: NBC to Matt Lauer: Can’t Live With Ya, Can’t Live Without Ya

I haven’t seen much of him since those days, and I’m sure the pressures of being responsible for the biggest morning show on television, until the Ann Currry blowup at least, have taken their toll.

Now the show has turned into a daily soap opera and everyone seems to be waiting for the other shoe to drop. But it would be a shame to see Matt go. Without him, all NBC has left is Willie Giest. Not nice!