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Thomas Tennant

Letterman, Lauer, Ferguson Extend Contracts

By April 8, 2012

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A lot of talk show turmoil has occurred in the last two years or so. Iconic hosts like Oprah Winfrey, Regis Philbin and Larry King ended their shows or retired. Late night hosts like Conan O'Brien shuffled from network to the next. And up-and-comers like George Lopez and Bonnie Hunt came and went.

So it comes as a relief that legendary talk show host David Letterman, award-winning newsman Matt Lauer and next generation host Craig Ferguson are staying put.

Earlier in the week, Letterman and Ferguson renewed late night contracts for the Late Show and Late Late Show, respectively, through 2014. And Lauer is sticking with Today for a while. How long is anyone's guess, since terms and length were not disclosed.

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest guested on Today this week and asked Lauer how long he wanted to do Today. Lauer kept mum.

By the end of Letterman's 2014 contract, he will surpass mentor Johnny Carson as the longest-running late night talk show in TV history. He'll have done it on two networks, rather than one. He'll also be 67 years old when 2014 comes around.

Ferguson will get a bigger, brighter studio out of the deal, as well. Oh, and a guarantee that he will host in the 11:30 slot when Letterman does retire.


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