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Today show executive producer Jim Bell says reports from earlier this month suggesting Matt Lauer was preparing to leave the show are "ludicrous," according to  The Hollywood Reporter

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Bell says Lauer has "absolutely not" spoken to him regarding a departure from the show when his contract is up in 2012. "When we're talking about something that is almost two years away, it's silly speculation," Bell adds.

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Regarding Meredith Viera's expected departure when her contract is up in September of this year, Bell seems less adamant. "We're still talking. We think she's fantastic and hope we'll have her with us," he told the Reporter.