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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
106.

Lynn    

WAY overpaid - he is not worth 17 or 30!

800 days ago
107.

Trish    

NOBODY is worth 30Mil doing what he does period!!!

800 days ago
108.

Athina    

He's definitely not worth it. Good-bye and don't let the door hit you in the azz on the way out. Maybe NBC can get somebody with a personality now.

800 days ago
109.

rosie    

DEFINITELY NOT WORTH THAT MUCH....STARTED WATCHING GALE ON THE OTHER NETWORK...MUCH BETTER THAN TODAY....NEED NEW FACES ON THE TODAY SHOW.

800 days ago
110.

Telma    

Can't stand his smug ass!

800 days ago
111.

SarahBeebee    

It would be soo Funny if NBC declined his offer and then no other network would take him and then he cries and kicks himself when he realized he is now out of a job that pays millions per yr.

800 days ago
112.

Tishbru    

He deserves $30 million a year just to put up with Ann Curry every morning!

800 days ago
113.

kim    

WOW are YOU JOKING??? NO WAY HE'S WORTH that much MONEY...

800 days ago
114.

Whatever    

As a Today Show watcher for a million years, allow me to chime in. The only reason the show still works, even marginally, is because of Matt Lauer. It's degenerated into some non-news silly show put together obviously by 20-something producers who think everyone cares about the Duggars and topics that are not important. We want the news, not Savannah trying to "cook" and acting daft and playing the dumb female "I don't know how to cook" card. And we don't Ann Curry with her sad hushed voice interviewing another victim. Matt is the news guy the show desperately needs. I guarantee he's worth 30 million because without him and the likes of Ryan Seacrest in the seat, they'll be even more celebrity/sensational/non news stories. You can fire Ann, Savannah, the weekend lady Jenna and keep Matt and Natalie and the show will be fine. Still marginal most days thanks to the twit producers but still fine.

800 days ago
115.

Keith    

NO, Matt Lauer is not worth $30 million... IMO, Lauer isn't even worth $100,000!

800 days ago
116.

Greg Potts    

Matt is an awfully greedy self-centered bastard if you ask me. Sure, the network makes $450 million a year off of the Today show and it is the most profitable show on the network, but the success of the Today show is made by a whole lot more people than just Matt Lauer.

800 days ago
117.

soulofanangel    

------------------------------------------------------------
Hey MATT LAUER, look in the mirror, do you see what WE see?
------------------------------------------------------------
We SEE a GROSSLY OVERPAID SELF-ABSORBED JERK on his own "Reality TV Show" at the expense of real news reporting.
------------------------------------------------------------
Wish the viewers, consumers and advertisers could get their millions back from your INFLATED PAYCHECKS over the course of way too many years!
------------------------------------------------------------
Yep, you once wanted to be a FOREST RANGER. Not even SMOKEY THE BEAR wants you now! (Not to mention that you aren't qualified for THAT career either!
------------------------------------------------------------

800 days ago
118.

AnnaR    

It is so funny that everyone is complaining about the amount of money these people get, when after all isn’t that the all mighty American dream to make the big bucks, yet when someone is raking in the dough folks turn on them. You people crack me up.

800 days ago
119.

t jam     

they can hire 500 interns @ $60...,000 each for that and send him packing ,

NO NEWS REPORTER IS WERTH ANYTHING CLOSE TO THAT !!

800 days ago
120.

Ann    

I really don't think anyone should make 30mil but if sport figures can make that kind of money why not Matt. And my goodness the show is making 250mil, pretty good income.

800 days ago
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