Matt Lauer to Replace Alex Trebek on Jeopardy?

The New York Post reports that Today host Matt Lauer is the leading contender to replace Alex Trebek on Jeopardy.

The New York Post reports that Today host Matt Lauer is the leading contender to replace Alex Trebek on Jeopardy.

The answer to the “Jeopardy” clue “Alex Trebek’s replacement” has a new and surprising question:

“Who is Matt Lauer?”

The beleaguered host of the “Today” show is at the top of the list to take over the brainy game show when Trebek steps down, as expected, in 2016, knowledgeable sources tell The Post.

Lauer is widely reported to be on his way out at the morning show, which has tumbled to No. 2 in the ratings in the last year. He is being blamed for the show’s fall from grace after 16 years on top.

The Post reported this week that Lauer is not expected to re-sign with “Today” when his blockbuster, $25-million-a-year deal expires in 2015.


According to sources with knowledge of the internal discussions, Sony is also strongly considering Anderson Cooper — whose contract with CNN reportedly ends next year — for the job.

But right now, Lauer’s name is at the top of the list, several sources say.

Until this week, Sony thought it might have to convince Lauer to do double duty on a game show and the morning show.

But if Lauer is off “Today,” it makes him suddenly available.

I don’t care much one way or the other about the future of “Jeopardy,” which I haven’t watched regularly in more than two decades, or Lauer, who took over on “Today” long after I stopped watching that show. The thing I find interesting here is the complete melding of news and entertainment. “Today” has long been a pipeline for news anchors, with John Chancellor, Hugh Downs, Barbara Walters, Tom Brokaw, and Katie Couric all going on to host either a major network evening newscast or a major network news magazine. But Lauer is under consideration to join his former co-host Meredith Vieira (who succeeded Regis Philbin as emcee of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”) as game show hosts.

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James Joyner
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James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. al-Ameda says:

    Wow, I guess Ryan Seacrest wasn’t available?
    On a serious note: Can you imagine Sarah Palin in Trebek’s role?

  2. BIll says:

    Lauer and Jeopardy! would be a good match. Watch him do an interview, Lauer thinks he is an expert on everything. On Jeopardy! he’ll know the answers without checking.

  3. Tillman says:

    Fine, sure. But how well can Lauer pronounce French phrases?

  4. 11B40 says:


    I haven’t seen “Jeopardy” in years, but I used to watch it fairly regularly. My favorite shows were the ones with “Celebrities” and my favorite “Celebrities” were the media types who seem quite capable of demonstrating the shallowness of their knowledge. I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I’m guessing that that was some kind of job requirement.