Report: Search on for Matt Lauer's replacement on 'Today'

The search is already on to find who can replace Matt Lauer on “Today,” according to a new report.

Less than two years after the disastrous decapitation of Ann Curry, NBC News chiefs are carefully debating who could be the heir apparent when Lauer, who earns nearly $25 million a year and has two years left on his current contract, moves on.

According to a Hollywood Reporter story NBC Universal execs including CEO Steve Burke and News Group chairman Pat Fili-Krushel are trying to make the next transition as painless as possible.

“We hope that he wants to last out at least this contract on the Today show,” Fili-Krushel recently told THR, adding that she’d “keep Matt Lauer as long as he wants to stay.”

But she also admitted the focus over the next two years is finding his heir apparent and that “expanding the family is the easiest way” to groom a successor but “not the only way.”

THR reported the stakes are high. In 2012 “Today” generated $515 million in ad revenue. But the show’s ratings are slipping against ABC rival “Good Morning America”, which is now the No1 morning program, spurring a shift in ad dollars to GMA.

Go to The Post for more.