Star Reporter Brian Stelter Got An Amazing Story By Eavesdropping On Matt Lauer And Meredith Vieira At Lunch

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New York Times reporter eavesdropped on a lunch between Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer in early April.

Next week New York Times reporter Brian Stelter has a new book out on the morning show wars, "Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV."  

In an excerpt from his book on the NYT website today, Stelter mentions a meetup between Matt Lauer and former "Today" show co-host Meredith Vieira in which she reassured Lauer about bad press.  

Earlier this month, Lauer sought advice from his former co-host Meredith Vieira. On April 3 they met for lunch around noon at Park Avenue Spring, an upscale restaurant on East 63rd Street. They swapped stories about their children and then, according to another diner, talked about work in hushed tones. Vieira urged Lauer to tough it out, promising that the bad press would subside. Dessert arrived at the table by 1 p.m., but they lingered until 1:40, bantering the way they used to on television. Lauer held the door for her as they walked outside, and she embraced him, rubbing his back reassuringly and saying in his ear, “It’ll be O. K.”

Stelter took to Twitter to reveal how he knew about the lunch—he eavesdropped on the two after being tipped.

RT @erin_gs: @brianstelter ends 6,000 words with a lunch between Lauer & Vieira. How he got that, I don't know. nyti.ms/175HsRw

— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 18, 2013

Here's how: I was tipped by a source, so I went to the restaurant. Timing was wild: Leno's "Tonight" retirement was announced during lunch.

— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 18, 2013

Later that day, NBC confirmed Jimmy Fallon would take over "The Tongiht Show."

New York Magazine's Kevin Roose asked Stelter how the two didn't notice a New York Times reporter near them. He says he sat at a bar.

@kevinroose I sat at the bar & observed. Didn't want to disturb. Triangulated the topics of conversation afterward. Other diners, etc.

— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 18, 2013

He even shared what he ate.

@kevinroose i had a delicious octopus appetizer and a kale salad. which reminds me, i need to file an expense report.

— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 18, 2013

How it's done.



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