Veteran morning host Matt Lauer is reportedly getting a huge raise to stay at the “Today” show.
Newsday reports that Lauer and NBC are close to signing a deal that will pay him $25 million per year in a multi-year contract.
Lauer is one of NBC’s MVPs and keeping him on board is a high priority for the network, despite recent rumors that they were courting Ryan Seacrest as a replacement. That presumably gave Lauer a lot of leverage in negotiations, which allegedly began not long after Meredith Vieira stepped down from her co-hosting duties. That move also proved “Today” needs Matt now more than ever, since Ann Curry’s ho-hum performance as co-host hasn’t exactly given the show a morning jolt.
With his contract expiring in December, speculation surrounding the renewal talks claim Lauer was asking for as much as $30 million a year to stay put. Lauer currently rakes in a salary of $17 million a year, so he would be scoring an $8 million dollar raise. He already ranks as the highest paid newsman on TV, with Brian Williams ($13M), Diane Sawyer ($12M) and Anderson Cooper ($11M) behind him, according to TV Guide.
The deal is expected to be announced soon, likely in time for the May Upfronts, an industry source tells Newsday.
“Today” is still the No. 1 morning show, although “GMA” has made some slight gains on them in the ratings lately. Lauer joined the program in 1997.
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