Matt Lauer doesn’t always travel to work in the skies, but when he does, the Today co-host flies from his home in the Hamptons by helicopter. And word is, NBC picks up the tab.
After the daytime show suffered a ratings debacle in the run-up to Ann Curry‘s firing as co-anchor in June of 2012, the network has been hard at work trying to keep equal footing with Good Morning America. Part of that struggle was to seamlessly figure out a way to keep Matt Lauer happy and his hands clean from the happenings behind the scenes; some allege Matt was instrumental in Curry’s outster.
Apparently, Lauer and show execs reached an agreement to keep him at the helm, while paying him handsomely to boot: a cold $20 million. However, according to a report out by Page Six, a rather generous perk is included that allows Matt an option to travel from his reported $15 million, 40-acre spread to downtown Manhattan…like a boss.
A source shared details of Lauer’s helicopter rides.
“NBC News chiefs want to do everything to keep Matt happy. They believe ‘Today‘ has turned a corner and he is the key to its continuing success. They agreed to pay for his helicopter flights to the Hamptons and back, so he can spend more time with his family.”
However, there’s another side to this story. Although no one is disputing the fact that Lauer takes an aerial route to work, some insiders counter the story by saying Matt’s travel is the exception, rather than the rule.
Their stance is that the longstanding television personality uses chopper transportation on occasion throughout the week. However, he can often be found braving the L.I.E. to access downtown like most New Yorkers.
Besides, Lauer, who has maintained an apartment in the city for a number of years, insists that he does not live an opulent lifestyle, as many suggest. Instead, he is just living the American Dream.
“I think the image that people have is that it’s all polo fields and cocktail parties. And the fact of the matter — my experience and Annette’s experience. . . is about parent-teacher conferences and Little League and music lessons. We have a painfully normal existence. . . We go to the local drugstore, and we walk the dog on the beach. . . and take pony-riding lessons. . . very much small-town America — it just happens to have a reputation and a name like the Hamptons.”
In Matt Lauer’s defense, taking an occasional helicopter ride to work allows him plenty time to breathe fresh air and bask in peace before descending into enclosed spaces that reek of car exhaust and echo the sounds of blaring horns.
[Image via Bing]