Matt Lauer Signs Deal to Stay at 'Today'
Co-anchor officially announced news on Friday's show
By Andrea Morabito -- Broadcasting & Cable, 4/5/2012 8:07:09 PM
Matt Lauer has signed a new long-term deal to remain as co-anchor of NBC's Today, an NBC News spokesperson confirmed Thursday evening. Lauer made the official announcement on Friday's show.
"This is my family," Lauer said on Today. "I love this job, I love working with you guys."
"Truth be told, I was developing an idea for a new show, where viewers could tune in every morning and see someone they know lose a little more of his hair every single day right in front of their eyes," he added, "but then I thought, I could just stay here and do that."
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Last month Newsday reported that Lauer was close to a deal to stay at Today for $25 million, though NBC News President Steve Capus called that figure "complete silliness" in a New York Times story.
The deal comes as ABC's Good Morning America has been narrowing the ratings gap with Today, which made retaining Lauer even more important to NBC. Today has been the top-rated morning program every week for the last 16 years.
After Meredith Vieira left Today last June, reports surfaced that Lauer was thinking of leaving the morning show as well, and last December a Wall Street Journal report speculated that Ryan Seacrest could replace him. Seacrest appeared on Today on Wednesday to announce his new deal with NBCUniversal but did not mention a role on the show, only that he would be a part of NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympics in London.
Eric - 4/6/2012 1:20:25 PM EDT
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