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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
121.

Kaysh    

Seacrest is NOT a journalist. Really, Seacrest interviewing a world leader?? What a joke. 30 million? Mmmm maybe a lil greedy...but think about what the greedy athletes in this country make. Matt's worth it.

949 days ago
122.

thomas    

Considering how many Americans are near poverty and struggling, I suggest we give him the boot.

949 days ago
123.

Regina    

I have never liked the Today Show and especially Matt Lauer. I don't think he is worth minimum wage myself. What does he do really, ask questions??? and for how long, 2 hours?? A 2 or 3 year old can do that for free!!!!

949 days ago
124.

Ron S    

Matt Lauer was well liked but has gotten too greedy. Basically his co-Anchors in the past, especially Meredith Viera my favorite, have carried him through the years. Time to replace Matt, See ya... As for Ryan Seacrest... he has enough going on and would not be a good choice.

949 days ago
125.

Dennie    

Hey, I like Lauer and all. But $30 million a year for always scoring the first Dina Lohan interview? Seriously? Give me a break. Give that kind of money to Brokaw and those kinds of anchors who helped to elevate the game, not pandered to faux celebrities.

949 days ago
126.

Irene    

Matt is certainly nothing special and anyone can be replaced even if they don't think so. Please not Ryan but I'm sure there are plenty of others out there that would love that job.

949 days ago
127.

Firefly    

Let Obama go after that libral for his fair share of taxes on that 30 million. LOL

949 days ago
128.

esq777    

30 million? I guess I missed the part where he cured cancer and brokered middle east peace.

949 days ago
129.

Maktown    

We are SERIOUSLY living in the "Entitlement" era where everyone feels like they "deserve" ridiculous amounts of $. All you do is wear a suit and read from a teleprompter, and THAT's worth $30m???

949 days ago
130.

Telstar    

I'd can him just for wearing his glasses like a grade-A douche.

949 days ago
131.

Joy    

Never liked Matt Lauer and now I like him less. He can kiss my br*ass

948 days ago
132.

deanne    

I clicked "not worth it" Before I read the Whole article! The network makes $450 million off of the "Today Show"? If that's true...Matt Lauer is So worth $30 Million!!

948 days ago
133.

lukaspod    

I'm sorry people, but if you knew your company was making 450 Million Dollars from you reading a teleprompter as some of you say..... How much would you ask to be paid? $100,000, come on, be smart about it, I know I would be asking for those 30 million too, is it a lot? Yes. But regardless the company would still be making a ton of money.

948 days ago
134.

Kelly    

I doubt they.re going to get Seacrest at rock bottom prices. And the guy responsible for the Kardashians having multiple show doing interviews with world leaders? Cheesy Ryan belongs with the reality TV crowd.

948 days ago
135.

Annie    

Lester Holt deserves to have this job. He has paid his dues. He is also a true journalist and is a very talented guy. I watch the week-end Today show just to see him.

948 days ago
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