NOTE TO THOSE LADIES standing outside the Today
show windows with signs reading, "Matt Lauer, please bring those sexy brown eyes out here" and "Matt, you jump-start all of my Todays
: You're taking the wrong approach. Katie Couric thinks the way to the heart of her divorced cohost "is for a woman to respect his work and his intelligence, for a woman to say, 'Matt, loved the Newt Gingrich interview.' " Women have been uncapping their Magic Markers for the 6' Lauer, 39, ever since he became a news anchor for NBC's Today
in 1994. When he slid in as Bryant Gumbel's replacement in January, the show had its second-best-rated week in its 45-year history. What makes him so irresistible? "It sounds clichéd, but it's true," says weatherman Al Roker: "He's nice inside." That doesn't mean that his fans don't care about his appearance. "I've gotten a lot of letters about my hair," says Lauer, who went from no part to side part last year and isn't fazed by the white wisps and thinning strands that remind him he'll soon turn 40. "I'm not one of these hairphobes. If it goes gray, it goes gray. If it falls out, it falls out. I'm going to go with the flow."