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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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31.

Wishbone    

How does this twit figure he's worth 30 million dollars a year?? If you can't survive on 17 milliion a year, you're dumber than you look. Go away Lauer...you've long surpassed your best before date. What a fool.

949 days ago
32.

John dowser    

do yourself a favor NBC, dump Matt Lauer. He is an egomaniac besides a little goon. You were nut's to pay the guy 17 million for 1 year. He is an opinionated ahole...

949 days ago
33.

kar    

Nobody is worth that much money. If TV stars, movie stars, sports figures did not make so much money maybe so many people in the USA would live better lives and not be losing their homes. Most of them who make all that money take it for granted and end up losing it all. Give the money to the teachers, police officers, fireman they get paid hardly anything and do so much!

949 days ago
34.

Liz    

Matt's got to be losing his mind! No one is deserving of that huge amount of money for doing some scripted show! He is so full of himself! I say replace them all and get a new vibrant cast but not Ryan Seacrest.

949 days ago
35.

Bec215    

Matt needs to take a lesson from Charlie Sheen... He's earning $17m because of a combination of him + timeslot + show format... if he leaves, no show will pay him $30m, because you can't duplicate the entire package. The other possibility, of course, is that Matt WANTS off the show, and that's what I think he's really doing.

949 days ago
36.

Floridagirl    

Matt, you can pack your bags and head out if $17million is not enough for you. How dare you try to depict yourself as caring about this country when you are as greedy as they come. HOW MUCH MONEY do you need??? It's not bad enough that you have become a judgemental pompous ass, now you are a greedy one. Get over yourself Matt. You are not the person you were on PM Magazine years ago. Now, you are just another person holding his hand out for more than what he does for a living is worth.

949 days ago
37.

Chase    

You gotta be kidding me, right? The Today Show is the ONLY thing worth watching on NBC (the ONLY thing!). So, all that $450 million should go into execs pockets. The same ones that have run that once great network INTO THE GROUND??? Show him the money!!! Just hinting @Ryan Seacrest joining was enuf to make me look at ABC in the morning.

949 days ago
38.

Pebblebeach    

Negotiating ploy Matt is using...don't watch the mess anyway...

949 days ago
39.

MooCow    

Will Ferrell said it best: Matt Lauer can suck it.

949 days ago
40.

Chase    

If Ryan Seacrest makes $15 million/year for American Idol, Matt is easily worth DOUBLE what he makes per year.

949 days ago
41.

writenow    

Wait a second. Who's claiming Matt Lauer, he of "Where in the world is Matt Lauer" cutesy pieces is a journalist?

Lauer completely blew the Anthony Morelli Interview - missing the fact Morelli was practicing law without a license on Mr. Custody Coach, and Not taking his own advice by trash talking the ex.

Update: Kids back with Mom. Much happier. Judge doesn't want them around Morelli's toxic girlfriend. DA meanwhile looking into Morelli's legal advice.

949 days ago
42.

Scotty    

Well, by that logic, a factory worker in China working for Apple should be paid $50 an hour, after all Apple had a quarterly revenue of $46 billion. What Matt does takes some talent, but lots of people could do it, and he's not curing cancer.

949 days ago
43.

Zack    

I personally don't think he is worth $30 million a year to keep on that show, but I don't get why anyone would say "shame on him" for asking for the money. If NBC feels he's worth it and wants to pay him, then good for him. I don't make anywhere that much money, but I get upset when other people do. Any one of us would take that payday in a heartbeat if we had the chance, so why shouldn't Lauer. That said, I think they would be insane to pay him that much money. If Today's ratings are sliding, its not his fault, its the big bag of phoniness that is Ann Curry.

949 days ago
44.

TX ROSE    

I wouldn't be sorry to see Matt go. I would be sorry to see Ryan Seacrest replace him, and I would change the channel to another morning network show. Willie Geist, Carl Quintanilla, or some other nbc news personality is my choice for a proper replacement for Matt!

949 days ago
45.

Klaus    

No one cares if takes a hike. Hopefully, he'll pick up a new vocation, such as doing this: http://youtu.be/VQ6dvKCfDRo

949 days ago
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