Matt Lauer will be waking up bright and early for some time.
The Today show anchor signed a new contract for two more years at NBC’s morning mainstay, sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. Lauer last re-upped with Today back in 2014 after his gargantuan renewal in 2012. This new contract, reported at $20 million a year, will keep him on the thriving A.M. talker through at least 2018.
Lauer remains a source of stability at Today. The sprawling telecast, which now covers four hours of NBC’s morning dial, has seen him hold down the top of the weekday telecast as co-anchor since 1997. The time in between has seen partners in crime Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry all depart. Curry’s forced 2012 exit, a famously teary-eyed on-camera departure, prompted a ratings slide for Today. The show lost ratings bragging rights to Good Morning America for three years — only regaining top dog status in 2015.
Season-to-date, Today is the undisputed A.M. leader among adults 25-54 — besting GMA and CBS competition This Morning. For the last full month, October, the show led its closest competition by 157,000 viewers in the key news demo. Today remains one of the biggest revenue drivers for NBC News.
Lauer’s current co-anchor, Savannah Guthrie, soon heads out on maternity leave. Her temporary exit comes on the heels of Willie Geist’s move to the weekend show and Billy Bush’s removal following the infamously unbecoming leaked audio of him talking about groping women with former reality TV star and now President-elect Donald Trump.
By 2018, Lauer will have spent 24 years on Today. News of his extension was first reported by the New York Post.