Will ‘Today’s’ Matt Lauer Be Forced to Take a Pay Cut?

Sep 25, 2012  •  Post A Comment

“Today” show mainstay Matt Lauer may be forced to take a cut in his hefty salary as the NBC morning show suffers through a ratings slump, the New York Daily News reports.

A rep for the show denied the rumor, but a source close to the situation reportedly told RadarOnline: “Matt Lauer will be asked to take a significant cut in his $25 million salary if ‘Today’ doesn’t win the key November sweeps.”

As has been widely reported, “Today’s” chief rival, ABC’s “Good Morning America,” has turned things around after years of coming in second to “Today” in the morning ratings. While the NBC show has struggled with personnel changes — notably bumping Ann Curry from the lineup and replacing her with Savannah Guthrie — “GMA” has solidified its newfound ratings edge over “Today.”

The Daily News adds: “Lauer’s popularity with viewers is in a free-fall. Lauer’s ‘likability’ numbers have plummeted by 25% in the last year, according to the influential Q Scores.

“Still, the ‘Today’ show has always been a cash cow for NBC, and remains one of the network’s top earners, generating a huge chunk of NBC News’ annual $2 billion in revenues.”

Word of a possible pay cut for Lauer comes on the heels of news that another NBC star, Jay Leno, recently agreed to what has been reported as a 50% pay cut, bringing his annual salary to about $15 million.


  1. Gotta admit that Matt has seemed more caustic and less funny lately. He got off a pretty harsh one-liner at Savannah this morning that made me cringe. Having said that, I still enjoy Today a lot more than GMA.

  2. GMA is fast moving, positive, audience-focused and the only word that comes to me is “warm.” Plus — they all seem to really like and support each other. Today seems so same ol’ same ol’. Once a dyed in the wool Today show fan, I started flipping back and forthe between the 2 — and now there’s no question — GMA all the way.

  3. It amazing the money they pay these people.. I liked Ann Currey.. the two gals they have now look like the same person.. ??

  4. Does it not occur to the NBC execs that extending the Today Show from two hours to the current four hours has diluted the quality of the show tremendously. No producer can possibly fill so much time with viewer worthy segments. They should go back to the two hour format of their core show, rather than trying to print money by expanding a once successful franchise.

  5. Talk about ‘warm’ and fuzzy. IMO, what GMA is doing by milking every last drop of empathy out of Robin Roberts’ illness is shameless exploitation of what should be something relatively private. What ABC is doing is showing how much of a ‘family’ GMA is as opposed to what’s going on at Today; when in reality, it’s more likely that both shows are snake pits of internecine rivalry.

  6. I gave up on Today and GMA months ago and switched to CBS. Both Today and GMA seemed to have turned into big TMZ shows – at least I get real news on CBS.

  7. I would have to say that what my grandfather told me when I was a little boy stands true today. “Never discuss money, politics or religion.” Since when did it become everyone’s business what these so-called stars make? Matt Lauer seems so diva-like now. What is happening to him is what happened to Katie Couric once those stratospheric numbers (who are nobody’s business) started being “reported.” They lose their likability with their working class viewers who often are strugging financially.

  8. I would have to agree with how shamelessly effective that ABC and “GMA” are exploiting Robin’s illness. With the changing of the guard at “Today,” it invited more viewers to sample and that is probably what has been happening. People are more attracted to the positive energy of “GMA” over “Today.”

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