On Jan. 6, Matt Lauer will mark his 10-year anniversary as co-anchor of NBC’s “Today” morning show. It’s a gig he took after several years of doing—double and sometimes triple—duty for WNBC-TV in New York and “Today” across the street, where he started as the news reader and substitute for predecessor Bryant Gumbel. It was a welcome break in a string of bad professional luck and choices made for money.
Mr. Lauer, who turned 49 in December, sat down last week with TelevisionWeek National Editor Michele Greppi to talk about how close he came to bouncing his rent check, how he and long-time agent Kenny Lindner changed his career strategy and how much he likes his current job.
He also talked about why the new multi-year contract he signed in 2006 is likely to be his last for “Today.” Mr. Lauer declined to discuss the terms of his contract—said by some to have put him in the $13 million- to $15 million-a-year club his former on-air partner Katie Couric joined while co-anchoring the top-rated morning show.