Are the rumors true? Is Today grooming Ryan Seacrest to take over for Matt Lauer someday? It certainly looks that way given that Ryan has signed on as a special correspondent for the show.
On the other hand, Ryan's contract is only for two years. That could mean it's a trial deal on Today's part, just to see if he's got the goods. It could also mean that he isn't ready to tie himself down to anything for the long-term. That would be a smart move on his part because it seems his career is always evolving.
Ryan is, however, switching his focus more toward a "news" edge. He'll do less for E! and more for NBC in entertainment and primetime news. He'll also help cover the Olympic summer games. All of that sounds like NBC is trying to set up his legitimacy as a newsperson.
Last week Ryan signed a two-year contract with American Idol, too. Is the two-year timing of both contracts coincidental or planned? Might he re-evaluate which direction he wants to go after completing both contracts? Obviously, only Ryan Seacrest knows that answer. However, the man's a savvy businessperson. One can bet he's got an end goal in mind.