Matt Lauer asks Seacrest if he's after his job
Ryan Seacrest will appear on NBC more, starting with the Olympics. That's it. That's the big announcement he and NBC have been hyping for days.
Word that Seacrest would appear on NBC's "Today" this week sparked speculation — as all involved knew it would — that he might be joining the show. The big question was how, since the Wall Street Journal reported in December that he was being courted as a possible successor to Matt Lauer.
Lauer asked Seacrest directly Wednesday what discussions he had had with NBC about joining "Today."
"Oh, they didn't tell you? " Seacrest joked, before adding, "I've worked with the E! network for years, and NBC Universal and E! are the same family. And so the plan is for me to join the NBC family and continue to have a role at the E! network. The first assignment will be to join the primetime team for the Olympics."
When Lauer pressed him about "Today," Seacrest said he had talked to NBC about filling in on the weather on "Today." He also suggested he wasn't trying to unseat Lauer, telling him: "I see you doing this for as long as you want to." Then he asked Lauer how long he planned to stay at "Today."
Lauer avoided the question, but told Seacrest, "I think you'd be great at this job." He added that he and Seacrest were friendly and had talked before about whether Seacrest might succeed him.
"There is no tension here," Lauer said.
"There's no tension," Seacrest agreed.
There was also very little news. Seacrest also said he expected to remain with "American Idol," as he has said before.
NBC has tried to bring out the big guns this week to counter for "Today" show Katie Couric's weeklong anchoring stint on "Good Morning America." On Monday, it brought back "Today" host Meredith Vieira, who also said she would be taking part in the Olympics coverage. On Tuesday, Sarah Palin co-hosted "Today."
Seacrest was scheduled to appear Tuesday as well, but delayed his appearance, he said, because he was recovering from elbow surgery.