Matt Lauer is signed on for “multiple more years” on NBC’s Today show, according to a new deal he has with the network. Speculations that Lauer wouldn’t be on Today once his old contract expired is now squashed. NBC views his work as a real asset to journalism and will continue to keep him.
The New York Times reports that Matt signed the contract Thursday. His salary isn’t disclosed, but the Times say NBC indicates that the time period is for “more than two years.” His current contract was set to expire within the next few months.
This likely comes as a surprise to many after the press has placed so much fault upon Lauer for Today’s ratings, which were heading down a steady slump, losing to ABC’s Good Morning America as the nation’s top-ranking news program. The NBC morning program was number one for 16 years before GMA grabbed the coveted number one spot. The uproar and finger-pointing at Matt Lauer launched after co-anchor Ann Curry was replaced by Savannah Guthrie. NBC has since defended Lauer by constantly fighting the incessant rumors.
Ratings on Today are beginning to come back. While GMA draws the most viewers between the ages of 25 and 54 and brings in more advertisers, Today narrowed the gap a few weeks ago by 88,000 viewers. This week the gap was widened by GMA once again by 184,000. As it stands, GMA dominates the number spot over Today by 800,000 to one million viewers.
The NBC network is proud of Lauer’s work and says as much in a statement release by NBC News President Deborah Turness:
“We couldn’t be more thrilled with Matt’s decision. As I’ve said many times before, he’s the best in the business, and there is nobody I would rather have in the Today anchor chair than Matt.”
Turness credits the personalities of Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, and Natalie Morales for the show’s ratings picking up. Matt Lauer said this after signing the new deal:
“I consider this the best job in broadcasting. I love people I work with every day and I have such respect and gratitude for the people I work for. I couldn’t be happier to be staying.”
A source tells NY Daily News that Lauer’s previous contract was at about $20 million a year. Their report confirms that Matt’s new contract keeps him the show until 2016.
Matt Lauer has been with NBC’s Today since 1997 and holds the record for the show’s “longest-sitting anchor,” according to Daily News.
[Image via The Date Report]