Craig Melvin in the Running to Replace Matt Lauer at 'Today,' Source Says

ET has learned that Today weekend co-host Craig Melvin is in the running to replace Matt Lauer as co-host of Today.

A source at the show tells ET that both NBC and staff are fans of 38-year-old Melvin. Melvin currently anchors MSNBC Live on weekdays, and is co-anchor of Today Saturday edition.

“This would give the network the opportunity to make Melvin into a star at NBC,” the source says. “This would be clean slate.”

Melvin has been married to ESPN sports anchor Lindsay Czarniak since 2011. The couple has two children together.

As for the possibility that Hoda Kotb would replace Lauer, our source says that would be “highly doubtful,” as Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford’s Today hour is already a huge success, and they wouldn't want to change the dynamic.
 
Still, there are other potential replacements in the running. Our source says that Willie Geist -- who frequently serves as a fill-in anchor on Today -- is also still being considered as Lauer's replacement, adding that a decision most likely won't be made until early next year.

On Monday, a source at NBC told ET that 59-year-old Lauer won’t be paid beyond his last day of work -- which was last Tuesday.

Meanwhile. according to a Page Six report, Lauer's "intense jealousy" over any potential rivals has left the network with no male contenders. The report claims that during Lauer's 20 years at Today, he immediately "killed off" any man who could potentially succeed him, including at one point, Billy Bush, David Gregory and Josh Elliott.

Interestingly enough, Today show ratings have gone up since Lauer's shocking firing for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace" last Wednesday. Today had more viewers than its ABC rival, Good Morning America, all five days last week  -- the first time that has happened in nearly a year -- the AP reports.

As for Lauer, he broke his silence on the sexual misconduct scandal last Thursday, when he apologized in a statement.

"There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry," the statement read. "As I am writing this I realize the depth of the damage and disappointment I have left behind at home and at NBC."

"Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed," he continued. "I regret that my shame is now shared by the people I cherish dearly. Repairing the damage will take a lot of time and soul searching and I’m committed to beginning that effort. It is now my full-time job."

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