Matt Lauer seals new deal with ‘Today’

Anchor to announce pact on Friday's ayemcast

“Today” is staying 30-Rock steady now that NBC News has sewn up a long-term contract with anchor Matt Lauer.

NBC News confirmed that Lauer will announce his new pact on Friday’s ayemcast. News of Lauer’s deal was first reported Thursday evening by the New York Times. His previous contract with the show was set to expire at the end of this year.

Speculation about Lauer’s future heated up last year amid rumors that he was considering joining former “Today” anchor Katie Couric in the syndie talker she is launching this fall. There was also much chatter in media circles about Ryan Seacrest possibly being wooed to an anchor slot on the top-rated morning show.

Seacrest on Wednesday appeared on “Today” to announce that he’ll contribute to NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympics in London later this year and other unspecified projects for the Peacock. He and Lauer made light of all the rumors in a segment shot in Lauer’s dressing room.

Lauer joined “Today” as its news reader in 1994 and has been co-anchor since January 1997. Since then, the show has weathered the departures of Couric and Meredith Vieira. Given those changes, it’s no secret that NBC News brass were eager to keep Lauer in his chair at Studio 1A.

Said NBC News prexy Steve Capus: “We’re just thrilled to have his considerable skills for many more years.”

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