So how close was Matt Lauer to actually leaving the “Today” show?
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Lauer said that in the end, he chose to stay out of loyalty (although I’m sure a cool $25 million a year probably doesn’t hurt either).
“I should have retired,” he joked to the publication. “I have to nap to go to a rock concert,” before noting that “There will be other chances.”
However, he stated that his decision really came down to coworkers, not working hours.
“It’s hard to explain after 17 years — this is a second family,” he said. “It’s impossible to leave.”
He goes on to say that while he considered other opportunities, his passion for the show kept him around.
“I knew it was going to be hard even as I was contemplating it,” he stated. “And in the end, if you love what you do and you love the people you do it with, why throw things up in the air for something that could be much less satisfying and less rewarding?”
So where, exactly, was he thinking about going? He confirmed reports that he did indeed talk with his former “Today” co-host Katie Couric about joining her on the syndicated series that will launch this fall.
“There’s no crime in listening,” he said.