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‘Today’ host Matt Lauer hitches helicopter rides to work

BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 31: Matt Lauer attends the Hamptons Magazine Celebration of the Grand Prix Sunday At The Hampton Classic Horseshow on August 31, 2014 in Bridgehampton, New York.
Photo by Eugene Gologursky

Matt Lauer certainly has a sweet commute to work. The longtime “Today” host, who recently extended his $20 million-a-year deal with NBC through 2016, has reportedly cut a deal that includes helicopter rides to work. On Wednesday, Page Six revealed that Lauer’s lucrative contract with the network includes free chopper rides in an out of his family’s ritzy residence in the Hamptons so he can spend more time with his wife and kids during the work week.

While the helicopter commutes aren’t a daily event (in addition to his Sag Harbor mansion, Lauer sometimes lives out of his apartment in Manhattan), the TV news personality has reportedly boarded flights from the city on Liberty Helicopters, HeliFlite and Blade. But a “Today” rep insists that Lauer’s free flights are a rare occurrence. “On rare occasions, Matt will fly home, but most of the time you’ll find him stuck in traffic on the Long Island Expressway with everyone else,” the source said.

When he does drive himself to work, it obviously makes for a longer day (the normal commute from Sag harbor to Manhattan is about two hours each way). But Lauer told Hampton’s new website Dan’s Papers that he has his morning routine down to a science—and he even clocks it!

“The alarm goes off at 4:10 a.m. every morning and I am in the car by 4:37 a.m,” he said in 2012. “It’s funny, I pull up to the studio within a minute of the same time every day and it’s been that way for 16 years. I’m a little bit OCD. I’m a little bit superstitious.”

But even with that early morning commute, Lauer still loves his job, and NBC apparently loves him. In an interview with Hamptons magazine, Lauer said, “I gave a lot of thought about moving on, or doing nothing, but the fact of the matter is, even at that ungodly hour of 4:10 AM when the alarm goes off, I still like getting out of bed. I’m still excited about the things I get to talk about … I love the people I work with, and I think it’s a privilege to have this job, and so as a result, when you get it, you hang on to it.”

And with any luck, that hanging on includes a helicopter here and there.

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