For some Hamptonites this past Fathers Day weekend was a good excuse to spend some quality time with the kids while manning the grill. NBC’s “Today Show” Host and Hamptons resident, Matt Lauer revealed he has a unique way of spending quality time with his children. The trusted news personality takes the time to teach his children how to do their part when it comes to preserving the environment. The Lauer clan has a litter removal ritual, which includes grabbing a receptacle and simply picking up garbage that lines the local highways, residential streets and beaches. Lauer pointed out littering isn’t just a local issue, “It’s not just out here. We don’t take care of the places that we say we love. We call it paradise and then we trash it.”
Lauer started his grassroots efforts because of his kids, “It’s starting to really depress me and my kids notice it which is really upsetting because they’ll drive down the street and they’ll say ‘Papa, look it’s awful, it’s disgusting. Why do people do that?” Said Lauer. Litter removal isn’t Lauer’s only ritual, “The Today Show” anchor lives up to his astrological sun sign of Capricorn and admits he is a bit obsessive-compulsive when it comes to his daily routine for the past 16 years, “The alarm goes off at 4:10 a.m. every morning and I am in the car by 4:37 a.m. Its funny, I pull up to the studio within a minute of the same time every day and it’s been that way for 16 years. I’m a little bit OCD. I’m a little bit superstitious. That combination is weird.”
Lauer’s ritual routine doesn’t end in the car, “I go and I have my cup of tea first thing in the morning. I walk back to my dressing room the same way and I walk the same way to the studio every morning. I’ve got one set of eyeglasses that I use for certain days of the week and another set for other days.” said Lauer. When I asked the humble host why he does the same rituals over and over, he earnestly replied, “I don’t know why I do it but, I think it’s working. Why would I upset the apple cart?” Lauer’s routine is working. The once small town reporter has worked his way into the number one network spot in the news business. Yet, it’s nice to know even those at the top of their game aren’t completely perfect. It’s even more refreshing to discover Lauer is able to poke fun at himself and say, “I’m crazy! I’m really nuts about these things!” Interestingly enough, it’s Lauer’s rare ability to go from self-deprecating humor to serious headlines that makes him a competitive force in the world of news. Lauer admitted it’s not easy being at the top, “There’s massive competition. These days the hard thing is booking a story and getting that person to sit down. Half the time they’re a little bit weary of television to begin with. It doesn’t matter who you interviewed yesterday, you’re constantly looking for the next interview and that can be rather difficult.”
Yet Lauer is a born journalist and told me, “The part of the job I love is knowing that we’ll have a chance to interview somebody at the heart of a story, I mean that’s really what you want to do if you do what I do for a living. You want to advance news and get people to tune in so they can learn more about a given story.”
For more of my interview with Lauer, tune into IN THE MIXX on VVH-TV Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 10 p.m. or log onto INTHEMIXXSHOW.com.