Matt Lauer sat down with The Temple News and TU Update before speaking to a crowd of about a hundred students as part of accepting the Lew Klein Award Tuesday. He offered some insights about journalism, traveling the world and having a show in Philadelphia canceled in 2 months.
“I had a show here canceled in 57 days,” said Lauer, host of NBC’s TODAY show. “When you’re trying to start up a show, it’s hard. It was a frustrating experience.” Lauer’s career rebounded, though, and he has risen to the top of what is now an increasingly difficult business.
“I feel for you. You’re competing immediately with a vastly larger group of people,” Lauer said. Still, there are still things that frighten Lauer, who said he is treated “royally” by his network.
“What scares me is the thought that I am unprepared. I am a stickler for preparation,” Lauer said. “[Embarrassment] is a really good teaching tool.”
Though he had the opportunity to travel around the world in the annual “Where in the world is Matt Lauer?” segments, Lauer said it could be difficult to really appreciate the various places.
“We get to these places two to three hours ahead of air time,” Lauer said. “I did an entire show in front of the Taj Mahal, and never went in. I went all the way to India and didn’t go into the Taj Mahal.”
The sometimes “strenuous” process was still worth the trouble for the New York City native. Lauer said he prefers going to countries where “you look out the [airplane] door and think ‘I am in the middle of nowhere.”