NEW YORK – While the television world was paying attention to Meredith Vieira's selection as Katie Couric's successor on the "Today" show last week, Matt Lauer quietly agreed to a contract extension to keep him on the show until 2011.
NBC confirmed the deal Tuesday, after Lauer revealed it during an interview with The New York Times. The network released no details. Lauer will make around $13 million a year, roughly equivalent to Couric's pay, the newspaper said.
Lauer, who shares a Dec. 30 birthday with Vieira, is 48. He was not immediately available for comment, a spokeswoman said.
His contract was to have expired in 2008. Lauer has been co-host with Couric on morning television's most popular and profitable show since January 1997, when he replaced Bryant Gumbel.
"I like it here," Lauer told the Times. "I can be cagey about it and do all the things you're supposed to do. I like this job."
With the personnel situation settled at "Today," attention will soon turn toward ABC's second-place "Good Morning America," which would face changes if either co-host Charles Gibson or Diane Sawyer is tapped as a long-term substitute for Bob Woodruff on "World News Tonight."
Lauer has kept up an exhaustive travel schedule the past few years as the focus of the periodic "Where in the World is Matt Lauer?" features. Over the course of a week, he's sent to mystery spots across the globe with the audience guessing his destination.
Otherwise, he's kept a relatively low profile, receiving much attention a couple of years ago when he showed up to work with a shockingly short haircut.
Vieira, 52, is expected to start as Lauer's co-host in September.
Published reports say NBC offered a four-year contract paying her at least $10 million a year, but that could not be independently confirmed.