NBC and Matt Lauer have made it official. The Today show has retained its star by nearly doubling his pay as he’s getting a bump from around $17 million annually to $30 million.
This followed speculation that the network was tapping Ryan Seacrest to replace Lauer on the show that has dominated the weekly ratings since 1995. Seacrest was on the show yesterday and the two joked about him taking Matt’s chair.
On many other levels NBC has struggled and it needed to step up to keep stability in the one show where it has consistently reigned supreme. Lauer said during today’s Today broadcast that:
“This is my family. 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. But then I thought, I could just stay here and do that.”
Sources with TMZ are stating that part of this deal is to make a move on bumping co-host Ann Curry. This is reportedly a request straight from Lauer.
The $30 million is an awfully high price tag but Today does generate approximately $450 million a year for NBC. In addition, Good Morning America has been slowly gaining ground and threatening to finally claim that number one spot. NBC’s hoping that Lauer-power will keep Today as the top morning dog for the foreseeable future.