Matt Lauer: Jeopardy Host? Reports Say He Could Replace Alex Trebek

Image: Matt Lauer: Jeopardy Host? Reports Say He Could Replace Alex Trebek

Friday, 15 Mar 2013 12:20 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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"Today" show anchor Matt Lauer is rumored to be the favorite to replace "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek in 2016 when the game show star is expected to step down.

Lauer has taken the brunt of the blame for last year's "Today" show ratings tumble — the morning program fell to No. 2 behind ABC's "Good Morning America" after 16 years on top — and he's not expected to re-sign when his $25 million-a-year contract expires in 2015, according to the New York Post.

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Producers are reportedly trying to convince Lauer to pull double duty as host of both "Today" and "Jeopardy" — Meredith Vieira hosted "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" during all five years she co-hosted "Today" with Lauer — but no word on whether Lauer would consider such a deal.

Sony Pictures Television, the company that owns "Jeopardy," has reportedly been scoping out different TV personalities to potentially replace Trebek as host of the game show. Sources told the Post that Anderson Cooper, whose contract with CNN expires next year, is another possible contender.

Rumors of Trebek's retirement began last year, when the 72-year-old made an appearance on a segment of Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.

"Yes, I have been thinking of retiring," Trebek told Wallace last year. "But I'm torn because I enjoy doing the show so much. A lot of people have been telling me, 'Alex, you've got to go for at least 30. You've just done 28. Now at least do two more.' So that has a nice ring to it. Put in your 30. And go help people."

Trebek suffered a second heart attack last summer, sparking the retirement rumors. Sony producers reportedly convinced him to sign a final three-year contract to give them enough time to find a replacement.

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