Sunday, April 14, 2024

Matt Lauer’s Likely Replacement is Willie Geist, It May Already Be In His NBC Contract


Matt Lauer is gone, and his likely replacement is not going to be Megyn Kelly. She must be smoking something great if she thinks that could happen.

No, the likely successor is Willie Geist, who is the current host of “Sunday Today.” Indeed, “Sunday Today” was created for Geist after Lauer’s last contract renewal. That show was designed to give Willie something to do until Lauer left, possibly in 2018 when his contract was up.

Lauer has had two tough re-negs in the last few years, Each time, Geist was waiting patiently.

But now Geist is ready, and he will be warmly welcomed. In fact, I’m told it may be in his NBC contract that he’s Lauer’s successor. That’s the happiest sounding agreement in history.

Geist is the son of former New York Times star writer William Geist, who still appears on “CBS Sunday Morning.” He’s a nice guy, much liked and not remotely like Lauer. With Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on either side, he’ll be just fine. Also, he lives with his family and is no player. That will be a headline for NBC.

I don’t think NBC will wait too long to make the announcement. And why wait? Geist has been with NBC for over a decade. The audience already likes him, and he has the bona fides.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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