Matt Lauer, who is celebrating 10 years on NBC’s Today show, is still as giddy about his job as the day he started, he tells PEOPLE in its new issue.
“It’s still a thrill for me, and I’m sucking every minute out of it. Because when I don’t have it anymore, I want to remember how great it was,” he says.
One thing’s for sure: Life is never dull on the job – or at home, where Lauer, 49, and wife Annette, 41, have three kids: Jack, 5, Romy, 3, and Thijs, born in November.
Explaining how he can look so well-rested with a newborn in the house, he says with a laugh: “I’m not breast-feeding – my wife is. That makes it a little easier on me.”
He laughs again when asked if there are any more kids on the way, saying, “No, I’m pretty sure my wife’s not pregnant.”
Less funny, though, were some recent tabloid rumors that his marriage was on the rocks. In response, Lauer says, “The vast majority of what I’ve seen written about me is not true. My family and friends – the people who matter to me – they know the real story.”
While his marriage has stayed steady, he did face one big change last year: Saying goodbye to longtime coanchor Katie Couric.
He says he watches Couric on the CBS Evening News “on occasion. She’s doing great. I had lunch with her a couple weeks ago. She knows there’s a long, slow fight ahead of her. But I don’t see her a lot because my family has dinner together every night at 6:30 p.m.”
He and Couric’s replacement, Meredith Vieira, “had absolute chemistry from the moment we met,” he says. “We’re still learning our timing, but you can’t force that. It has to happen organically.”
The same couldn’t be said for Tom Cruise, with whom Lauer famously argued with about psychiatry in June 2005. “That was one of my most bizarre interviews,” Lauer says. “It’s rare when suddenly a window opens up and you see a side of a celebrity you’ve never seen before, good or bad. It was great TV.”