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Matt Lauer

I'll Stay at 'Today' ...

If You Pay Me a Fortune

2/10/2012 5:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0209_matt_lauer_tmz_EX
Matt Lauer has softened his position about leaving "Today" in December at the end of his contract -- that is, if NBC antes up a record amount of money.

Sources connected to NBC tell TMZ ... Lauer was done with "Today" and wanted out -- but the word at the network is he will now re-sign if NBC ponies up way more than the $17 mil he's currently making.

We're told negotiations are now ongoing -- but if NBC agrees ... Lauer could score as much as $30 MILLION a year.

As for why the change of heart -- there are two schools of thought according to network sources. Some say Lauer changed his mind when network execs made it clear they were extremely interested in tapping Ryan Seacrest as Matt's replacement -- in other words, he got a little jealous.

But there's another school of thought -- that Lauer has wanted to re-sign all along and just played the "I'm leaving" card to score a bigger pay day.

As for whether Lauer is worth $30 mil ... to put it in context, "Today" makes roughly $450 million a year for the network ... more than any other show on NBC.

So we gotta ask ...

180 COMMENTS

No Avatar
136.

waaahhh    

.. i dont care ...! http://LazyCash25.com

796 days ago
137.

ErnestPayne    

Today show? Oh yeah when there is ABSOLUTELY nothing else on tv or on the net. All these clowns do is tell you how to keep your toaster clean. Test patterns are more interesting.

795 days ago
138.

Harley2002    

What is the Today Show and who is Matt Liar

795 days ago
139.

linda    

I like Matt alot- I don't at all like Ryan Seacrest- ewww Ann Curry is a stuttering, interrupting mess- cut her loose and pay Matt---

795 days ago
140.

ALPHA MALE    

He isn't worth the money he's getting now

795 days ago
141.

George    

I can understand Matt wanting a lot of money to have to cohost with that poor excuse for a journalist Anne Curry. She makes me cringe with every question she asks.To the woman who lost hert virginity to JFK she asked " Well, did you call your parents and tell them?" Right Anne, first thing I did when I lost mine!

795 days ago
142.

jt    

the way industry is going, i really don't think he had a choice but to stay. Where would he really go? Anchoring CNN headlines news or being a reporter for 60 Minutes. I'm sure they don't have that kind of money.

794 days ago
143.

Kate     

I really like Matt but I don't think anyone on TV is worth $30 million. (Even $17 million is a lot!) I'll lose respect for Matt if he plays the jealousy and greed cards. Wow...

793 days ago
144.

richiee    

Matt is not worth that kind of money..no announcer is....Ryan Seacrest is not worth having .....as long as Ann Currie and Natile Moralis and Amy Robac are there you will be fine

790 days ago
145.

Sonnet    

I'll do it for half of what he's doing now. I just have to show up and read stuff, right?

787 days ago
146.

Rae    

Will be glad to see Matt Lauer go. His ego has gotten in the way of hosting and interviews. I've switched to another morning show.

748 days ago
147.

Ron    

Matt seems completely unconnected emotionally with the program. He walks around with his blue paper so that he will know what to do next. He shows little or no preparation and doesn't relate to the other cast members.. He mainly smoozes notable guests. His time in up and long gone!

747 days ago
148.

Deb Engels    

They need to get rid of Ann Curry as well. When they promoted her after Meredith left, I thought to myself did all other women die? Ann has no personality and is completely boring. Matt has always been boring and just comes across as arrogant egotistical and about what I can't imagine. Ratings are slipping and the competitors are catching up....better do something. I would get rid of both of them and find two that can connect in some way to audiences.

743 days ago
149.

Deb Engels    

Ryan Seacrest would be much better at the job in my opinion. Don't care for Ann Curry either. She is so boring and has no personality. One thing is clear they better do something different because other networks are catching up. Especially after they promoted Ann Curry. Did I mention she has no personality?

743 days ago
150.

anna neace    

today show would be nothing wwithout him, they can afoord it so i say pay him. just look at the money he makes them.

741 days ago
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