If Lauer Leaves ‘Today,’ He Can Join ’60 Minutes’: CBS Exec

by | December 10, 2011 at 11:58 AM | Morning Television, TV News

Matt Lauer (Photo: NBC)

Matt Lauer (Photo: NBC)

CBS News would hire Matt Lauer for “60 Minutes” if he were available, THR.com reports.

The news that broke this past week that NBC honchos met with Ryan Seacrest to discuss a possible future role on “The Today Show” is now fueling speculation about what would happen to “Today’s” current male star.”

In this story, The Hollywood Reporter quotes CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager disclosing that, yes, he’d be interested in Lauer. Specifically, he said [CBS News would] love to have Matt Lauer at ’60 Minutes’.”

The story cautiously emphasizes that Lauer is still very much under contract to NBC News through next year, during which time he’s not allowed to talk to other companies about future roles. And no such talks have taken place with CBS, the story notes.

Our take: We doubt Lauer will be making a high-profile jump to CBS anytime soon. And yet, in that glacial way in which changes do evolve on long-running shows such as “Today,” we can definitely see a scenario where Lauer, 53, leaves — just like Meredith Vieira and before her, Katie Couric — and NBC brings in some younger personality.

Will it be Seacrest? We happen to think he’s a credible choice, but he would really have to up-end his life to take on this new job. He’s an L.A. guy, and “Today” is strictly a New York show, so he’d have to pull up stakes and move east. And Seacrest is a one-man entertainment conglomerate with a lot on his plate.

At the very least, NBC would likely have to pay him a king’s ransom to make it worth his while to drop almost everything for “The Today Show.”

Things got hairy recently on “Today” — check out this clip and see what happened:
More Celebrity News:
‘E News Now’ ‘CelebTV’ ‘Access Hollywood’ ‘Hollywood 411′