Who saw this one coming? The out-of-left-field report from “Entertainment Tonight” that Matt Lauer will be following Meredith Vieira out the “Today” show door next year.
A single source told “ET” which is owned by NBC rival, CBS Studios, that Lauer “notified his NBC bosses that he will be resigning from the ‘Today’ show when his contract expires on December 31, 2012.”
Could he be thinking about re-teaming with his former “Today” show co-host Katie Couric and his former “Today” show executive producer Jeff Zucker? It has been widely speculated that Couric is expected to leave the “CBS Evening News” and launch her own talk show with Zucker.
“There seems to be an awful lot of speculation around news anchors these days,” a “Today” spokesperson said, adding, “it’s not our practice to comment on any of it. Matt Lauer has a long term contract with NBC News and ‘Today.'”
In 2007, TVNewser’s Alissa Krinsky interviewed Lauer when he and Al Roker anchored the show from Chicago. At the time he told us, “Let’s say I do a number of more years on this show, and then I leave to do something else. I’d love to be able to take (my kids) to school in the morning. I want to coach Little League for my kids.
“I’m not hinting at anything. It’s just that there will come a time where I stop doing this, and at that point it will be all about family.”
Matt Lauer joined “Today” in 1994 as newsreader.