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Ryan Seacrest to Replace Matt Lauer on 'Today'?

by Catherine Lawson, posted Dec 8th 2011 7:15AM
Ryan SeacrestIt's been reported that Ryan Seacrest is in talks to replace 'Today' anchor Matt Lauer if he steps down from the NBC morning show next year. 'The Wall Street Journal' first reported that Seacrest met network executives for preliminary talks earlier this week to discuss him joining the show.

That report has since been confirmed by 'The Hollywood Reporter,' which spoke to multiple sources who said that the meeting did indeed take place, but that it was part of ongoing discussions with Seacrest.

Executives who reportedly attended the meeting included 'Today' executive producer Jim Bell, NBC News President Steve Capus and senior vice president for marketing and communications Lauren Kapp.

Lauer's been in the 'Today' anchor seat for 13 years, and although his contract's not up for renewal until the end of 2012, there has been speculation all year as to whether he'll extend or quit. His co-anchor Meredith Vieira recently stepped down when her contract expired, and Ann Curry took over.

Although Lauer said back in May that he has no plans to leave NBC -- "I have a long-term deal with NBC. ... I'm gonna be here for a while" -- there have been reports that he may reunite with his former 'Today' co-host Katie Couric when her syndicated ABC talk show launches. 'Katie' is slated to premiere in fall 2012, airing in the spot currently occupied by veteran daytime soap, 'General Hospital.'

Seacrest's name has previously been linked to the search for Regis Philbin's replacement on 'Live!,' but can the 'American Idol' host juggle yet another high-profile TV gig with his commitments on 'Idol,' 'E! News,' his production company and his radio show?

His contract with E! and his overall deal with its parent company NBCUniversal expires early next year, so perhaps now is the time for Seacrest to realign his burgeoning media empire and change his personal working schedule. NBCU is said to be keen to hang onto such a valuable property, and its cable entertainment chairman Bonnie Hammer told 'THR' "Ryan is extremely talented and we look forward to working with him for years to come."

Would you watch Ryan Seacrest on 'Today'?

'Today' airs weekdays, 9AM ET on NBC.

Follow Catherine: @TVClaw

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Benjamin Arrowood

Ryan Seacrest wouldn't know where to start if he was interviewing somebody like the Pope, the Dalai Lama, or a foreign leader. I've had my issues with Jay Leno, but you have to admit that Jay would be better suited for this job than Ryan. He has interviewed President Obama twice and has filled in for Katie Couric. But, nobody can replace Matt. Matt goes, and the ratings will go out the door with him. Matt and Al have been holding down the fort since Meredith Viera left. Matt needs to stay put.

December 09 2011 at 9:41 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ryan Seacrest makes my skin crawl! I love love love the Today Show, but would not watch if he was on!

December 08 2011 at 6:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I use to just love Matt Lauer but he sure seems burned out, no fizzle to him anymore, but Ryan Seacrest?? Come on?? So many beter choices!!

December 08 2011 at 3:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Well, since the Today Show is more of an entertainment program I would watch Ryan as Matt's replacement. I would much rather see Kermit the Frog. Think about it.

December 08 2011 at 3:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No, I would not watch Ryan on the Today show! I can not imagine him doing a serious interview with anyone.

December 08 2011 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Please Matt, don't leave. Ryan would not be as good as you!

December 08 2011 at 2:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I would watch Ryan but hope Matt doesn't leave. I do not think he gets enough credit for doing an ecxellent job every single day.

December 08 2011 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Louise Smyth

If Matt Lauer steps down the todday show will never be the same, aot that I'm puttong Rtan Seacrest down, but I just don't think he'll fit the show.

December 08 2011 at 2:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

God I hope not...NBC is tanking/

December 08 2011 at 2:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I have watched the Today show on and off since the early 60's. I don't know Ryan I thought it was Brian) Seacrest. I would watch and probably switch. You would think that they would look for a person with news experience. I haope Matt is around for awhile.

December 08 2011 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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