Matt Lauer Signs MEGA Today Show Contract
So much for those Matt Lauer firing rumors.
Heck, so much for those rumors about The Today Show hemorrhaging viewers.
Or at least about producers blaming Lauer for said hemorrhaging.
The controversial host has reportedly signed a new two-year contract to remain at the forefront of the NBC morning program, with sources telling Page Six that the deal will pay Lauer $ 20 million.
Per year, that is.
“The new deal will take him well into 2018,” one insider tells The New York Post, while another NBC source says that Lauer’s new “multiyear” pact could actually be longer.
More details will likely leak out regarding the contract over the next few days.
Lauer has somehow managed to survive a severe ratings decline for Today, along with a great deal of personal criticism.
He received a lot of backlash for how he handled Ann Curry’s firing back in 2013, with many believing he orchestrated the dismisal of his colleague from behind the scenes.
There was also chatter that year about Lauer refusing to take a pay cut in order to save the job of Today Show staffers.
Nevertheless, Lauer signed a two-year contract to remain host in June of 2014 and has now done so again.
It’s very possible that executives were worried about shaking up the morning program too much after the ousting of Billy Bush last month.
He had only been co-host of the 9 a.m. hour since August, but the network was left with no choice but to part ways with Bush after video surfaced of him acting all sexist and inappropriate with Donald Trump back in 2005.
This removed Bush as an option to eventually take over for Lauer, while Willie Geist and former Good Morning America-turned-NBC Sports anchor Josh Elliott have fallen by the wayside.
Lauer has managed to outwork and outlast them all on NBC.
In September, Lauer came under a lot of fire for how he moderated a live prime-time forum with Trump and Hillary Clinton.
It was believed in many circles that he did not call Trump out on his lies, specifically his claim that he was against the Iraq War from the beginning, and that he focused too heavily on Clinton’s email scandal.
However, The Today Show has been on a ratings roll of late, coming on strong to knock off Good Morning America (its chief rival) as number-one with adults in the coveted 25-to-54-year-old demographic for 63 of the past 64 weeks.
CBS This Morning sits in third place among these competitors.
No one from NBC or from Lauer’s camp has confirmed his new deal.
But we can confirm that we remain traumatized by Lauer’s portrayal of Pamela Anderson for Halloween many years ago.
This GIF still causes us to wake up in a cold sweat from time to time.