'Today' feud: Meredith Vieira sounds off on Matt Lauer and Ann Curry troubleAdd to Favorites | Today
"That was such a bad time," says Vieira, referring to the messy firing of Curry, who had replaced Vieira, and the hiring of new anchor Savannah Guthrie. "I really felt for Matt a lot. And I felt for Ann, too. It turned so nasty, really nasty. Every day you're reading this stuff that is just beyond cruel from angry, angry people who felt that Ann had been slighted and embarrassed and humiliated," she adds.
When Curry was reportedly booted out after only one year as a co-host, rumors ran rampant that Lauer was to the one behind it. Vieira says, "They basically pointed to one person on whom to take out all of their anger. I don't know if I would have survived that."
Vieira adds while she didn't give advice, she did offer support to her friend and former co-host. "I just told him I loved him and I was there for him. But I never sugarcoated what had happened," she says. "I thought it had not been handled smartly from the very beginning, because I don't think they ever felt that was the right fit for Ann so they should never have put her in that position to begin with. And then the ending was so mishandled."
Vieira, whose daytime venture "The Meredith Vieira Show" is set to debut Sept. 8, seems to understand you have to roll with the punches in the workplace. She also has a forward-thinking approach about the "Today" experience: "You know what, s*** happens. People make mistakes. We all do."