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Matt Lauer: 'I'm Less Popular Than Polio'

Travelers Today       By    Antranig Dereyan

Updated: Apr 12, 2013 11:28 AM EDT

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Matt Lauer
TV presenter Matt Lauer arrives for the Elton John AIDS Foundation charity event "An Enduring Vision 2012" in New York October 15, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)

How low is the popularity of "Today Show" host Mat Lauer?

Well, according to New York Post, Lauer poked fun at his own troubles recently while hosting the UJA Federation of New York's Broadcast Cable & Film Division event.

"If you've been following the papers lately, you know it's been a bit rough for me," he told the audience. "These days, I only get asked to host dinners if polio is busy. Yup, I have a lower Q rating than polio right now," according to New York Post.

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The Q rating, for those not familiar with the term represents the way TV personalities can measure their name recognition and likeability with their audience.

According to New York Time's writer, Brain Stelter, who wrote a piece entitled  "At NBC, a Struggle to Revive the Morning Magic," which quoted an anonymous "Today" senior staffer saying Lauer was losing his connection with viewers, his Q rating "dropped by more than half of what it used to be -- from a 19 to a 9 -- since Lauer was paired with Curry in June 2011."

He didn't stop the conversation there, later at the same event, when introducing his former "Today" co-host, Katie Curic, Lauer said, "Katie has a way of making headlines. Who can forget when she was co-host of the 'Today' show? She got a colonoscopy on TV. Not to be outdone, two weeks ago, I got one in the New York Times," reported New York Post.

Lauer, who has seen his "Today" fall behind ABC's "Good Morning America" for a number of weeks, has been portrayed as a bully for his actions that resulted in NBC axing Ann Curry, but Lauer broke his silence last month in an interview with the Daily Beast and put the brunt of the blame for the backlash on the network.

"I don't think the show and the network handled the transition well. You don't have to be Einstein to know that," Lauer said. "It clearly did not help us. We were seen as a family, and we didn't handle a family matter well." 

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