Matt Lauer is sticking with NBC’s Today.
Ending any speculation that the top-rated show might have to face ABC’s rising Good Morning America without him, Lauer signed a long-term contract with NBC.
Lauer plans to announce Friday on air that he’s staying put, ending suggestions that he might reunite with Katie Couric on a syndicated show she’s launching.
Many felt that Lauer was simply negotiating a better deal for himself all along, though, having been a fixture of the #1 ranked morning show since 1994.
For broadcast networks, morning represents one of the most important parts of the day. The shows are hugely profitable at a time of declining TV viewership.
Reports that Lauer could end up with a $25 million deal may not be exaggerated, as a result, though NBC has declined to comment on the deal’s specifics.
It’s been quite a week for Today, with Matt interviewing Octomom as well as Sarah Palin, while Couric guest hosts Good Morning America over on ABC.
NBC also apologized for Today bungling the Trayvon Martin 911 call, but that clearly wasn’t seen as an impediment to cash cow Lauer’s giant payday.