Los Angeles Times

Matt Lauer re-ups for two years on ‘Today’

The co-anchor of the NBC morning show reportedly will earn $20 million a year.

- By Stephen Battaglio stephen.battaglio @latimes.com

Matt Lauer has quietly signed on for two more years as co-anchor on NBC’s “Today.”

Citing unnamed sources, the New York Post said late Tuesday that Lauer agreed to extend his commitment to the morning program through 2018. An NBC News representa­tive did not officially comment on the report. But a person familiar with the deal who was not authorized to comment said Lauer’s latest contract signing is not recent.

Lauer, 58, has been at the helm of “Today” since 1997. He joined the program as a news reader in 1994. There had been no talk of him leaving “Today,” which generates about $500 million a year in revenue for NBC.

Lauer, who co-anchors the 7 to 9 a.m. hours of “Today” with Savannah Guthrie, has long been seen as crucial to NBC’s success with the morning audience. Although ABC’s “Good Morning America” has the most viewers overall, “Today” is the top-rated program among viewers ages 25 to 54, the group that advertiser­s seek most when they buy commercial­s on news programmin­g.

The Post said Lauer will earn $20 million a year in the new deal. Although NBC has never confirmed a number, various reports have put Lauer’s annual salary at $20 million to $25 million over the last decade.

Lauer was harshly criticized by pundits and political partisans this year for his performanc­e as moderator in NBC’s presidenti­al candidate forum after he failed to press President-elect Donald Trump on his insistence that he had been opposed to the Iraq war.

Lauer also received blowback for interrupti­ng Hillary Clinton, who attempted to provide longer and more detailed answers during her portion of the forum.

But the controvers­y over Lauer’s performanc­e never affected his standing with morning TV viewers as “Today” ratings remained steady in the aftermath.

 ?? Dennis Van Tine Abaca Press/TNS ?? MATT LAUER has agreed to remain on ‘Today” through 2018.
Dennis Van Tine Abaca Press/TNS MATT LAUER has agreed to remain on ‘Today” through 2018.

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