The anchor has re-signed his contract with the NBC morning show, according to Page Six, which will keep him as co-host for at least two more years at $20 million per year.
Multiple sources said that Lauer inked the new contract months ago.
“The new deal will take him well into 2018,” said a source familiar with the deal. But another NBC insider said that Lauer’s new “multiyear” pact could actually be longer.
Meanwhile, sources told Page Six that behind the scenes, Noah Oppenheim — the executive in charge at “Today” — is weighing re-signing his own contract, which is ending in early 2017. He’s also the screenwriter of the new Natalie Portman movie, “Jackie,” which has been getting Oscar buzz for the actress.
Either way, Lauer’s move brings stability to the show after a recently bumpy ride — with the arrival and quick, dramatic departure of Billy Bush, formerly of NBCUniversal’s “Access Hollywood.” Bush began on the show after the summer Olympics but was bounced by mid-October after that now-infamous tape from 2005 captured him having a lewd conversation with Donald Trump.
Reports earlier this year said Lauer could leave “Today” after the election. Then again, there was also rampant speculation he would exit back in 2014, before he signed his previous two-year deal, also for $20 million a year.
Any alleged heirs apparent to Lauer’s seat, from Bush to “Sunday Today” host Willie Geist and former “Good Morning America”-turned-NBC Sports anchor Josh Elliott have fallen by the wayside.
In September, Lauer weathered criticism for how he moderated a live prime-time forum with Trump and Hillary Clinton. But “Today” has been on a ratings roll recently, beating “GMA” as No. 1 with adults in the coveted 25-to-54-year-old demographic for 63 of the past 64 weeks. The show has some added competition, with “CBS This Morning” reportedly gaining some ratings ground in third place.
Reps did not comment.