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Matt Lauer Signs New 'Today' Contract, Will Remain Host In Multi-Year Deal

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/ 5/2012 6:59 pm Updated: 04/ 6/2012 8:59 am

Matt Lauer

Matt Lauer has signed a new deal to remain with the "Today" show, the New York Times reported late Thursday.

The multi-year deal was signed for an undisclosed amount, but it's widely believed that Lauer will be making an eye-popping $25 million a year.

"Matt is the franchise, and our franchise player has decided to keep leading our team,” NBC News president Steve Capus told the paper.

UPDATE: Lauer announced the deal on Friday's show. After saying that he had been developing the idea for a show where audiences would watch a man slowly lose all of his hair, he got serious. "This is my family," he said.

The signing of Lauer's new contract means that "Today" will go forward with its key host during one of its most challenging times in recent memory. The show has been fending off a newly aggressive challenge from "Good Morning America." The announcement of the deal will come at the end of a particularly intense week in the morning show wars, with Katie Couric hosting "GMA" and Sarah Palin co-hosting "Today."

It also caps off almost a year of speculation that Lauer could walk away from one of the most high-profile, lucrative shows in news. He has been a host since 1997 and is the undisputed linchpin of the program. The staggering new salary is more than enough of an indication of his importance to NBC News.

As the end of his most recent contract approached, Lauer admitted to having explored the idea of leaving to co-host a talk show with his former "Today" co-host Katie Couric. Meanwhile, reports that Ryan Seacrest could potentially replace him began appearing in the press.

On Wednesday, Lauer and Seacrest had a rather remarkable public conversation about the rumors on "Today." Both played coy, undoubtedly in the knowledge that Lauer was not going anywhere.

Also on HuffPost:

Morning show hosts.
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  • Matt Lauer

    Lauer co-hosts NBC's "Today" from 7-9 a.m.

  • Guthrie co-hosts NBC's "Today" from 7-9 a.m.

  • Robin Roberts

    Roberts co-hosts ABC's "Good Morning America" from 7-9 a.m.

  • George Stephanopoulos

    Stephanopoulos co-hosts ABC's "Good Morning America" from 7-9 a.m.

  • Charlie Rose

    Rose co-hosts "CBS This Morning" from 7-8 a.m. CBS announced the addition of Rose and Gayle King and a decidedly focused hard news program earlier this year.

  • Gayle King

    King co-hosts "CBS This Morning" from 8-9 a.m.

  • Steve Doocy

    Doocy co-hosts Fox News' "Fox and Friends" from 6-9 a.m. "Fox and Friends" dominates cable news morning shows.

  • Gretchen Carlson

    Carlson co-hosts Fox News' "Fox and Friends" from 6-9 a.m.

  • Brian Kilmeade

    Kilmeade co-hosts Fox News' "Fox and Friends" from 6-9 a.m.

  • Joe Scarborough

    Scarborough co-hosts MSNBC's "Morning Joe" from 6-9 a.m. "Morning Joe" focuses solely on hard news and political commentary.

  • Mika Brzezinski

    Brzezinski co-hosts MSNBC's "Morning Joe" from 6-9 a.m.

  • Soledad O'Brien

    O'Brien co-hosts CNN's 7-9 a.m. morning news program. CNN's "American Morning" fell behind MSNBC and even its own HLN. The network recently announced the return of O'Brien and the replacement of "Amerian Morning" with two new morning programs.

  • Zoraida Sambolin

    Sambolin co-hosts CNN's 5-7 a.m. morning news program.

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