Lauer believed he was going to be replaced by Ryan Seacrest
A bit of canny business acumen by Matt Lauer here. Spooked by the rumors that he could be next on the chopping block after NBC fired the much-loved Anne Curry from the Today show, he used the situation to engineer himself a hefty new pay cheque from the network. That or maybe he was genuinely spooked and so the search for employment that led to the new deal was entirely merited.
At any rate, it’s believed that the long-time anchor was incredibly close to leaving the network as well, after apparently hearing that Ryan Seacrest might well have been joining Today instead of him. According to a source reported by Perez Hilton, "Lauer learned of the leak [about Seacrest] while being forced to stand outside the security gate at the White House Christmas party because Ann Curry had forgotten her driver’s license."
So with that in mind Lauer thought about jumping before he was pushed, and that could have led him straight into the arms of rival network ABC, who were licking their lips at the prospect of teaming him up with his good friend Katie Couric in a daytime talk show. However, when NBC got wind of this they apparently moved swiftly to keep Lauer tied down, the furore resulting in a tasty new $25 million deal for Lauer. Curry must be thrilled for him.
Matt Lauer almost quit NBC after Anne Curry sacking