Kathie Lee Gifford
says there will be a "revolt" at NBC if the powers that be allow Matt Lauer
to leave the "Today
" show, telling TMZ ... she'll do whatever it takes to keep him around.
Kathie Lee was leaving Rockefeller Center in NYC Monday morning when she made it clear -- she thinks Matt has been unfairly demonized in the media in the wake of Ann Curry
Kathie tells us, she wanted to buy a full page ad in an NYC newspaper defending her longtime co-worker, but Matt talked her out of it.
Bottom line, if Lauer ever gets ousted ... Kathie no happy.
is not seriously interested in leaving NBC -- unlike his co-host Meredith Vieira
-- but he is bucking for a massive raise to $25 million dollars per year.
Sources connected with NBC tell us all the talk about Matt leaving NBC's "Today"
is nothing more than a well-timed negotiating ploy. Remember, the Matt buzz started right after reports surfaced Meredith will leave in September.
"Today" has been the #1 morning news show for 15 years -- a virtual cash register for the Peacock -- and we're told Matt wants his slice of the pie ... in other words ... $25 mil.
Lauer currently gets by on $17 million per year. UPDATE:
A rep for NBC says they are "NOT in any negotiations with Matt ... as he is under contract for a long time."
TMZ has learned ... Lindsay Lohan
has "multiple offers" for her first television interview since getting out of jail/rehab -- and one of her biggest suitors is "Today
Sources tell TMZ the NBC show has definite interest in landing the coveted sit-down with LiLo -- a source at the Peacock says they are "actively" trying to sign her.
We're told Lindsay is strongly considering Matt Lauer & Co. -- among several other outlets -- which is ironic considering Dina Lohan's "Today" appearance
didn't go over so well.
Maybe now she can clear up once and for all just how many times she went to rehab.UPDATE
: Dina Lohan tells TMZ "no final decision has been made" on Lindsay's first TV appearance.
How's this for news ... Jay Leno
is the victim! Law enforcement sources tell TMZ someone allegedly committed grand theft against "The Tonight Show
Someone allegedly stole thousands of dollars of wardrobe at an office facility for the show. We're told the clothes were for the band. We're told band members were supposed to go to the facility -- in Hollywood -- for a fitting, but before they arrived someone noticed lots of stuff was missing.
A "Tonight Show" insider told us the threads were for the new band, fronted by Rickey Minor
The LAPD is investigating. No word if it's an inside job. So far, no suspects.
wasn't the only one who bid sayonara to "American Idol
" last night.Dorian Holley
-- the Vocal Coach and Associate Musical Director -- said farewell last night as well, and he's heading for "The Tonight Show
Holley was also the Vocal Director for Michael Jackson
and was a key player in the London tour that never happened. He was with Jackson hours before he died.
Holley will become the lead singer in "The Tonight Show" band. And he's not the only "A.I." musical guru who's jumping ship -- Rickey Minor will take over Jay's band
Need a job? There are openings at "Idol."
pulled off the ultimate act of defiance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
" last night -- dude rocked a Team Coco
pin on the air during his performance at the end of the show!
Though it appears NBC
tried to edit around the Conan O'Brien
support symbol, a few shots of the pin still managed to make air.
No word if Jay even noticed.
"Curb Your Enthusiasm
" star Jeff Garlin
says he wouldn't be caught dead on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
" ... because he says Conan's nemesis "has no character."
During an interview with Jimmy Baron from 92.9 Dave-FM Atlanta
this weekend, Garlin -- a long time friend and former roommate of Conan O'Brien
-- claims NBC was "stupid" to replace Leno with Conan in the first place ... but says Leno derailed Conan's chances for success by doing the 10 o'clock show.
Garlin goes on to rip Leno by saying he has "no character" -- and says he won't be caught dead on "The Tonight Show" now that Jay is hosting it again.
A Conan O'Brien
fan posed for a photo
with Jay Leno
last night with the letters "Coco FTW" written on his hand -- which means "for the win."
Leno got the "Tonight Show" back and Conan got $32.5 million from NBC -- they're both winners.
is shelling out his own cash to some ex-staffers who didn't get jack from that $7.5 million separation deal from NBC
According to sources close to production, Conan's stagehands from "The Tonight Show
" were not covered by the NBC severance plan. But we're told Conan is stepping up -- promising to pay his nearly 50 person crew at least six weeks severance out of his own pocket.
Conan's people had no comment.
The union for his former crew -- IATSE Local 33 -- says all the members who worked with Conan are "very happy" with the way he handled the whole mess.
is losing "The Tonight Show
" but he'll be getting a $32.5 million consolation prize courtesy of NBC
... sources tell TMZ.
In return, we've learned Conan has agreed to sit on the bench until September. Translation -- he can't host another show until the fall.
In addition to the $32.5 mil, we've learned NBC is also paying severance to Conan's "Tonight Show" employees. In all, we're told NBC's payout is around $40 million.
But Conan probably won't see close to the $32.5 mil. Under the deal, any money Conan makes during the remaining contract period with NBC will offset the network's obligation. So, if Fox
were to make a deal with Conan and pay him $25 mil during the NBC contract period, Conan would only score $7.5 mil from NBC.
One well-placed NBC source told us something surprising -- looks like NBC may keep its intellectual property rights. So Conan can't take his creations -- such as Triumph the Insult Comic Dog
the Masturbating Bear
-- to his next gig.
We're told the Conan/NBC deal still isn't completely done, but it's very close.
More Today in TMZ History
supporters gathered at Universal Studios in Hollywood today -- in the rain -- to protest NBC's mistreatment of their giant, red-headed late night hero.
The protest -- which gained a lot of support on Facebook -- was set to start at 12 PM PT, but a bunch of Conan's brave, raincoat-clad faithful have been hanging around near the "The Tonight Show
" studio for hours. Jeff Zucker
was not one of those people -- but Andy Richter
, Masturbating Bear
and La Bamba
all addressed the crowd.
We're told "The Tonight Show
" has handed out doughnuts and coffee to the supporters.BTW
: Conan rallies are also set to go off today outside of NBC studios in Chicago and 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City.