With the contracts of two of NBCUniversal’s highest-profile pieces of talent, producer Ryan Seacrest and Today Show co-host Matt Lauer, coming up, the company will do everything possible to keep both, according to NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt. The commens came on the heels of reports about a meeting between NBC News and Seacrest, whose rich deal with E! Entertainment is up this month, about him potentially replacing Lauer on Today.
“We’d love to keep (Seacrest) in the family mostly because of his value to E!, he has become this incredible star,” Greenblatt said. But that will not come at the expense of losing Lauer, whose Today contract is up at the end of the year. “The No.1 priority is keeping Matt on Today and figuring way to keep Ryan in the family,” Greenblatt said. “It is our hope and belief that Matt will stay beyond his contract.” As for the different possible ways to keep Seacrest at NBCUniversal, there will be high-level company-wide executive meetings about that coming up, and NBC is ready to pitch in, Greenblatt said. “There is a desire on (Seacrest’s) part to do scripted shows,” he said. Greenblatt personally likes the idea of having Seacrest do interview specials for the network in the mold of Barbara Walters.