Matt Lauer's contract won't end with NBC till 2015 but could the co-host be leaving The Today Show sooner? Questions of this nature arose as the morning show announced a new face for Today. Carson Daly, long-time host of NBC's The Voice announced he was leaving the singing competition show to take a position as social media host on NBC's Today Show starting September 16. Though no one has said Carson Daly will necessarily be replacing Matt Lauer, still it seems to many the new Today Show social media host could be being test driven for a position as Matt Lauer's replacement.
It's no secret to anyone that has been watching The Today Show long that Matt Lauer has definitely fallen out of the better graces of viewers causing numerous rumors to circulate that the co-host might eventually be leaving The Today Show. After over a decade in the position, Matt Lauer's favor began declining significantly last summer when Ann Curry was suddenly fired from her Today Show position. Much of the blame for Anne Curry's firing was placed on the head of Matt Lauer, and though even the Today Show's producer vouched for the host, saying Matt Lauer had nothing to do with Anne Curry's firing, the morning show host's approval ratings were never the same again.
WATCH: Ann Curry Says Goodbye And Announces New Role At NBC News
Rumors that Matt Lauer might be leaving the Today show reached an all-time high earlier this year but recently have died down. Now with the bringing on board of Carson Daly, however, it seems those murmurs are beginning again.
Matt Lauer has opened up a number of times about the stress he's experienced as a result of the Ann Curry firing fiasco and just this week he had another interview with Esquire adding more pieces to the puzzle. In the interview, Matt Lauer was heard blasting the media for their coverage of the event which took place within NBC's Today Show calling the handling of the situation "lazy."
"The way the media treated what happened with Ann Curry was a disappointing learning experience ... I was disappointed by the laziness of the media, the willingness to read a rumor, repeat that rumor, and treat it as a fact."
When asked why he didn't speak out or retaliate more, Matt Lauer had this to say:
"What were my options? Does anyone want to see a person who's making the money that the newspapers say I'm making complaining, 'Woe is me, my life is terrible, and people are being unfair'? No one would've had any patience for that. I wouldn't have any patience for that. So you just shut up and go about doing your job."
Though Matt Lauer's comments seem to indicate his actual salary arrangements may not have been accurately reported, latest reports say Matt Lauer is receiving a sizable $21 million a year - a pay cut from his previous alleged $25 million salary.
Though there's no really indication that Matt Lauer is leaving the Today Show any time before 2015, it is possible NBC is testing Carson Daly out to see how dynamics are with the rest of the team. Still, when asked if he thought he could possibly replace Matt Lauer, Carson Daly declared " Oh God, I wouldn't go that far!"
No one knows what will happen when Matt Lauer's contract expires but for many fans of The Today Show the idea that Carson Daly could replace Matt Lauer when he leaves seems quite probable. Here's a sample of comments Today Show viewers shared when hearing about Carson Daly coming to NBC's morning show as Social Media host.
I love Matt Lauer, but it looks like Carson Daly might be making a move for the anchor desk! #TodayShow Your thoughts?
— Melanie Todd (@MelanieTheRep) September 13, 2013
It's great seeing Carson Daly again. I remember when I used to hate Matt Lauer this little. — Joe A. Carrera (@JoeACarrera) September 13, 2013
Will Carson Daly be Matt Lauer's replacement on Today? http://t.co/T11oKuRsR7
— Divine Pop (@DivinePop1) September 13, 2013
Today Show doing reboot with Carson Daly or as he's called the new Matt Lauer with hair and humor. — Tracey McKoy (@tlmckoy) September 13, 2013
Carson Daly joins the 'Today' show, challenging Willie Geist for Matt Lauer heir-apparent.
— streem (@frameshi) September 12, 2013
Who would win in a #fight? Carson Daly or Matt Lauer? I mean, besides the audience. #TodayShow — Lucy Wharton (@grrlnamedGO) September 12, 2013