Matt Lauer might have a super early wake-up call when it comes to co-anchoring NBC’s “Today” show, but he’s certainly being compensated for it.
ET has learned that the 58-year-old newsman re-signed his contract with NBC several months ago and will now earn a salary of $20 million a year. He is also to stay on with the network until at least 2018.
Lauer, who first joined Today in 1994 as the program’s news anchor, became a co-anchor in 1997. Since then, he’s had a number of co-anchors, including Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry. Lauer currently hosts “Today” with Savannah Guthrie, who will soon be going on maternity leave.
When Curry tearfully left the program in June 2012, Lauer was blamed by critics for a ratings decline at the morning show and the mishandling of his then co-anchor’s departure. “I don’t think the show and the network handled the transition well. You don’t have to be Einstein to know that,” he said in a 2013 interview. “It clearly did not help us. We were seen as a family, and we didn’t handle a family matter well.”
News of Lauer’s contract renewal comes a little over a month after Billy Bush exited Today after the release of a 2005 tape in which he is heard laughing and joking as Donald Trump makes lewd comments about women.
Here’s a look back at how the show’s staff, Lauer included, reacted to Bush’s departure.
Reporting by Amy Purnell.