Matt Lauer Extends Deal Through 2018 (Report)

Debra Birnbaum
Variety

“Today” show host Matt Lauer will be sitting in the anchor chair for a few more years.

Lauer has extended his contract with NBC through 2018 for a reported $20 million a year. The contract was inked a few months ago, according to the New York Post.

His multi-year, multi-million dollar deal was last renewed in 2014.

NBC News would not comment, and Lauer’s agent did not return a call seeking comment.

This move lends the show stability post-election with co-host Savannah Guthrie soon expected to go on maternity leave — and after the abrupt departure of Billy Bush, who has been seen as an heir apparent.

With Lauer and Guthrie at the desk, “Today” has made significant moves against ABC’s “Good Morning America,” routinely beating that show in the demo advertisers covet — viewers between the ages of 25 and 54. “Good Morning America” retains most viewers overall, though both shows have lost viewers in recent months.

This would come as a vote of confidence from NBC brass given his much-criticized handling of the Commander-in-Chief forum back in September, when he didn’t challenge then presidential candidate Donald Trump on his position on the Iraq war. But Lauer has weathered far worse, including the bungling of Ann Curry’s departure from the anchor chair.

Lauer first joined “Today” in 1994 as news anchor, and became co-anchor in 1997. This extension would bring his reign atop the morning show to 24 years.

NBC also re-signed Willie Geist to a new deal at the end of summer or early fall, according to people familiar with the matter.

Related stories

Ronan Farrow Hones Second Act for NBC News

'Emerald City': Watch the Dark New Trailer for 'Wizard of Oz' Spinoff

Lack of Cancellations This Season Leaves Slew of New TV Series in Limbo

Get more from Variety and Variety411: Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Newsletter