Talk of the “CBS Evening News” anchor possibly going back to her former network, after her current contract expires next year, has picked up again in recent weeks. Her former on-air partner — who has continued his weekday co-anchor role on NBC’s “Today” — claims he’s in the dark about her plans as much as anyone, despite the two of them staying in touch.
“I see her a lot,” Lauer confirms to Zap2it. “We still get together for lunch and dinner, and it’s not been something that she has discussed with me. I don’t think Katie knows what she’s going to do. I think she has a lot of options, but no one [at NBC] has ever come to me and asked, ‘Where should we go with this? What do you think about this?’
“Katie and I talk about a thousand other things,” Lauer adds, “and I don’t think she’s at the point where she’s made, or is going to make, a decision. Plus, I have a co-host (Meredith Vieira).”
As he prepares for his much-anticipated primetime interview with former President George W. Bush — which NBC will air Monday, Nov. 8, the night before Bush’s book “Decision Points” is released — Lauer also is keeping other matters in mind, including his own future at “Today.”
“I try not to look too far ahead,” he says. “I know where I’ll be for the immediate future. I’ve said this in the past, but at some point, I think getting off this treadmill will be important to me. I’ve been doing this show for 14 years now, and I was in early-morning news locally before that.
“Over the course of 17 or 18 years, I’ve been waking up at 3:30 or 4, and that’s a long time to do that. It comes with enormous advantages and perks, but it also comes with a price to pay. Somewhere down the road, I will be moving back into a situation where I try to embrace a more normal schedule.”
Still, Lauer concludes, “I’m blessed, because at the moment, I wake up in the morning and still love my job. If you can say that, that’s a good indication that the time is not right yet to walk away.”
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