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Earlier this week, Matt Lauer joked that Ryan Seacrest was out to steal his job as co-anchor of Today -- but that won't be happening any time soon. Lauer has inked a new contract to stay with the top-rated morning program, and officially confirmed the news Friday morning on Today, with Ann Curry calling it "a huge bit of great news."
"This is my family, this is my show," Lauer, 54, said. "I love this job, I love working with you guys... Let's keep it going."
So what took him so long to confirm his return? Did he just want to make us sweat a bit? Turns out Lauer actually was working on a plan for another show that didn't pan out.
"Truth be told, I was developing an idea for a new show, where viewers could tune in every morning and see someone they know lose a little more of his hair every single day right in front of their eyes," Lauer joked. "But then I thought, I could just stay here and do that."
While American Idol host Seacrest won't be taking over Lauer's anchor chair -- at least not until Lauer retires, which could be a ways down the road -- he will be assisting the Today hosts with coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. (So fortunately there's no ill-will between Lauer and Seacrest -- despite that friendly tackle.)
While the details of Lauer's new contract are still under wraps, it is said to be long-term. But don't go believing the rumors of a $25 million paycheck for Lauer. NBC New president Steve Capus told The New York Times that figure is "complete silliness."