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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

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16.

obama    

tmz always puts the most faulked up pictures of people !

988 days ago
17.

dd    

Anybody that has to work with Ann Curry deserves millions...

988 days ago
18.

TNJ    

Are you kidding me there are people in this country loosing their homes and this Motherf**ker wants 30 mil a year.
F**k you Matt don't let the door hit you on the way out.

988 days ago
19.

RaineeDrops    

Dear Today Show stylist, please ditch the Matt Lauer TIGHT "skinny dress pants" and pointy shoes you have him wear. That and his OCD issues seem offensive, anytime someone is on the show with a cold, blowing their nose, or cooking, he gets this glossed over "ewwww" look on his face.

988 days ago
20.

Mary    

No one is worth that much money, him and all the pro ball players included. I struggle to put food on the table and pay the bills every month.

988 days ago
21.

3Storms    

He makes $17 mil just to sit there and read tele-prompters while talking to people, and that's not enough???

988 days ago
22.

Ozzie X    

30 million for name notoriety? They can pay someone else with equally as much talent for 29 million less.

988 days ago
23.

Pittsburgh's Finest    

Matt is not worth this amount of money. If I were NBC, I would cut him loose. I believe that he is comparing himself to Katie Couric. He will come up short. Sure, ABC gave Katie a $40 million dollar contract ,but she has hosted the CBS Evening News for 4 years, 60 minutes, made Sara Palin look like a dunce, etc...Matt is clearly already getting paid what he is worth. He is not a celebrity,but somehow thinks he is celebrity status. A clear indication that he is not a celebrity is that his job is to interview them and report news on them!

988 days ago
24.

wiptidoo    

IN THIS ECONOMY????? What a greedy little monster. I hope they don't offer it to him

988 days ago
25.

dd    

This has nothing to do with Matt.
NO, 30 mil is too much for anyone!
These salaries are getting out of hand and is a reflection of the upside-down craziness that is going on.
And pleeezzzzzzzzzzze, NO SEACREST!!! What a doofus! Can you imagine getting any NEWS from this person??? Or hearing him conduct a solid interview with anyone????? Maybe he is good behind the scenes but in front of the camera --- YUCK!
NBC had better negotiate with Matt - if they put Seacrest on they can see the 450 mill go down the drain.Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales would be better choices and should be considered!!!! Listen up NBC!!!!!

988 days ago
26.

lady    

He makes more than enough money now! But I quit watching when meredith quit and they put that annoying ann curry on. Just cant stomach her at all.

988 days ago
27.

Betty    

The bad thing about being a prima donna is this-he is already only there part time and his diminished presence has already resonated with the audience. They are USED to the show without him. They don't need to pay him that kind of money to stay on the show. He's clearly already overpaid. There are many who would do the job for less and breathe new life into the show!

988 days ago
28.

Criss    

Enough with this self important bore!

988 days ago
29.

DirtySouth    

If viewers tuned into the show I was on keeping it the number 1 show since I've been there, the corporation always used my image and name to promote the show, and it makes at least $450 million a year doing that, I'd demand a significant increase in pay, too. Don't hate on him because he can ask for more money a year than many of you would ever dream of making in your lifetimes. He's put in the work for it. Also remember, out of the $30 million, he'll only end up with about 9 million once you account for attorney, agent and accountant fees and taxes.

988 days ago
30.

freaksloan    

He nothing but a coke head and a liberal nut job. He isn't worth 30 cents.

988 days ago
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