Alex Trebek is rumored to retire from “Jeopardy” in 2016, and the show’s producers are looking at Matt Lauer of “Today” to become the new host, reports the New York Post.
Trebek has hosted “Jeopardy” for close to two decades, beginning in 1984, and will be 76 by 2016.
The timing is just about perfect for Lauer to step into the “Jeopardy” gig as his own contract for “Today” is set to expire in 2015, the Post reports. Lauer’s has been in the public eye more than usual lately, with Jezebel discussing his likability and the New York Times, speculation and fallout from the Ann Curry firing and the New York Times looking at the "Today" show's slumping ratings.
Lauer's contract, which get him $25 million a year, is set to expire at the end of 2014. While executives want Lauer to return to “Today,” as reported in the Times, he's not looking to renew his contract, the Post says.
Sources in the New York Post sources are saying “Jeopardy” owner Sony Pictures Television has begun the search for a new host. Trebek suffered one mild heart attack in 2007 and another in 2012, and those health problems have led to speculation of his retirement from “Jeopardy.” Because of the connection Trebek has with “Jeopardy” viewers, Sony is beginning the search early for a new host who will connect with its dedicated audience.
Aside from a generous payday, the reportedly relaxed “Jeopardy” taping schedule -- with less days of shooting needed to complete a season -- could appeal to Lauer.
While Lauer is at the top of Sony Pictures Television’s wish list for “Jeopardy,” the New York Post also floats another candidate: Anderson Cooper. With several years to go before any decision can be made, expect plenty of speculation.