NEW YORK — With things looking up for the “Today” show, Matt Lauer has decided to stick around.

NBC said Friday that Lauer had agreed to a contract extension to continue as co-host of the morning show, as he’s been since 1997.

Lauer began as a news anchor on “Today” in 1994 and replaced Bryant Gumbel as co-host three years later.

His popularity took a major hit two years ago after the messy departure of co-host Ann Curry. The show is trying to recover the dominance it lost to rival “Good Morning America” the past few years.