Matt Lauer is probably going to be on the Today show for a very, very long time. Sure, he took quite a hit when people blamed him for the Ann Curry drama, but the guy is good at his job, and we imagine he enjoys being paid $800 billion a year. Nevertheless, Lauer’s contract does run out in 2015, and so speculation has begun on who will succeed him.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, here are the most likely candidates to take Lauer’s spot on the Today show, should he decide to leave: Willie Geist, Carl Quintanilla and David Gregory.
Geist and Gregory appear to have the early upper hand. For one, they’re both white. No matter how good Quintanilla is, the Today show is only going to replace Boring White Guy Lauer with another Boring White Guy. Both Geist and Gregory also have high Q scores among women — Geist at 14 and Gregory at 18 — Today’s primary audience. In fact, both their scores are higher than Lauer’s, which has dropped to 7.
We imagine that Lauer will extend his contract at some point next year, but if he doesn’t, Geist and Gregory are surely eager to take over.