April 06, 2012 03:07:07 GMT
Lauer is expected to officially announce his extended stay on the morning show's Friday edition, ending speculation that he will leave the NBC program.
A day after addressing speculation that Ryan Seacrest might replace Matt Lauer on "Today", it's now confirmed that the longtime co-host will stay on the morning show. NBC News spokeswoman Megan Kopf said that the 54-year-old journalist has signed a long-term contract to remain as a co-host of the NBC program and will make the official announcement on the show Friday, April 6.
Previously, it was rumored that Lauer might leave "Today" to join his former colleague Katie Couric on a syndicated show which she's going to lauch this fall. "American Idol" host Seacrest was mentioned as his possible replacement.
When interviewing Seacrest on "Today" Wednesday, Lauer pressed his guest with a question about what kind of conversations he's had with NBC officials about joining "Today". Playing coy, the "E! News" host answered, "Oh, they didn't tell you... They were mostly about filling in to do weather."
Lauer's extended stay on "Today" will help the show maintain its title as No. 1 morning show. In this competitive week, the NBC program lost to ABC's "Good Morning America" in terms of total viewers for Wednesday, April 4 episode (5.2 million vs. 5.1 million), thanks to Couric's highly publicized co-hosting stint.