As Details of Lauer’s New ‘Today’ Deal Surface, So Do Plans to Expand the NBC Franchise

Apr 10, 2012  •  Post A Comment

With the battle for morning ratings supremacy in the spotlight, details are surfacing about NBC’s plans to leverage its still dominant “Today” franchise.

ABC’s “Good Morning America” took a run at NBC’s morning winning streak last week by bringing former “Today” co-host Katie Couric aboard for a week of guest-hosting duties — a move that came up short, as previously reported. The same week, NBC put rumors to rest by announcing it had signed the face of the franchise, Matt Lauer, to a new contract to remain on the show.

Now comes word that NBC is discussing spinning off Lauer’s regular segment "Today’s Professionals," TVGuide.com reports. One possibility is developing the segment into a fifth hour of “Today,” according to the report.

The segment features Lauer sparring over various topics with a panel including Star Jones, Donny Deutsch and Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the story says.

Talk of developing the segment comes just days after Lauer signed his new contract, which could earn him about $100 million, the story notes. The deal includes a program development pact, which would give him an ownership stake in a syndicated show outside of "Today," such as a spinoff of "Today’s Professionals," the piece notes.

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