Putting an end to speculation about whether “Today” co-host Matt Lauer is preparing to exit the NBC morning show, the network’s news division has signed a multiyear contract with Lauer to keep him on the show, reports Bill Carter in The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog.
Lauer has signed a "long-term deal," according to Steve Capus, the president of NBC News. "Matt is the franchise, and our franchise player has decided to keep leading our team,” Capus said.
Speculation about Lauer’s future had included the suggestion that he might join Katie Couric, who’s now at ABC, in a syndicated talk show.
Financial terms weren’t disclosed, but Capus said speculation about how much Lauer might be offered was "complete silliness," the story notes. Last August TV Guide magazine reported that Lauer’s salary was $17 million a year.
Signing Lauer to an extension has brought some relief to NBC News, Capus added. The show is at a critical juncture as the rival morning program "Good Morning America" is closing the ratings gap. "Today" has the longest ratings winning streak in TV history, with more than 16 years holding the top spot, the piece points out.