Josh Elliott was so disgusted with ABC ... he took a pay cut of more than a million dollars ... multiple sources connected with both ABC and NBC tell TMZ.
Our sources say ABC offered Josh between $4 and $5 million to stay, but he chose NBC despite the fact that they offered him just over $3 million.
We're told Josh was at the point of no return when Robin Roberts signed a $14 million a year contract to anchor GMA. He felt slighted by the ABC offer and just wanted out.
Sources say the feeling is mutual. As one source put it, "He's definitely an abrasive guy." Another source says, "People hated him. He was always just rude."
And get this ... we're told just weeks ago Sr. VP of ABC News James Goldston confronted Amy Robach -- Josh's replacement on GMA -- and called her "toxic" because she created tension on the set. Indeed, we're told Amy and Lara Spencer "hate" each other and can't hide their contempt.
Another source says Robin Roberts hasn't helped matters -- one person saying she acts like a "diva" on the set.
As for Josh's future ... our network sources say NBC did NOT promise Josh any role on "Today," but we're told there's no doubt he's got to the top of the heap as the likely successor to Matt Lauer.
Morning TV ... it's just like grade school, only all the students are really rich.
'Today' Show Stunt
Al Roker Faux Filthy Rant on Billy Bush
3/21/2014 10:15 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
The "Today" show has an interesting new strategy for regaining its king-of-the-morning title ... do a phony, f***-laced meltdown with Al Roker ... but the show needs some pointers ... which TMZ will gladly offer.
We just got this video of Al going off on Billy Bush, who was interviewing Johnny Weir during the Sochi Olympics. The clip has a whispery set-up, where Al seems to be schooling Billy who just doesn't know his place on the broadcasting food chain.
And then Al rants ... and it's dirty. And NBC clearly wanted us and everyone else to run it ... which we will gladly do.
Advice to NBC: Lose the crew from the shot. The camera guy can barely focus he's laughing so hard. Also, use a lavalier mic (clip-on), rather than a boom. The boom is in Al's face so there's no way anyone would believe it's authentic. And, get Al an acting lesson or 2. The overacting is felonious.
Nonetheless .... it's an interesting new strategy. We'll see if foul-mouth stunts actually work.
NBC Threatens Celebs ...
It's Fallon or the Highway
3/6/2014 8:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
NBC is coming down like a hammer on celebs who want to get on Jimmy Fallon's show ... if they dare do a show on CBS or ABC ... they can forget about "The Tonight Show."
Sources connected to CBS, NBC and ABC tell TMZ ... the Peacock network believes Jimmy Fallon's ratings success gives them extreme bargaining power. They put the word out to celebs, agents and publicists ... if they want to be on Fallon they can't appear on ANY other network ... and not just shows that go head-to-head with Jimmy, but morning shows as well.
We're told NBC is saying the stars who go on Fallon are also allowed to appear on "Today," "Dateline" and any similar shows they air, but that's it.
A GMA source tells TMZ ... they've already gotten fallout from people they were trying to book.
Fallon is dominating late night .... crushing Jimmy Kimmel by bringing in more than twice the number of viewers.
Hot Mom ...
or HOT MESS?!
From Fox 411: "Pammy is really good about attending her boys' sporting events, but she doesn't exactly fit in with the other soccer moms."
Click through to Fox 411 to see what some Hollywood kids have to deal with on a daily basis!
TBS is Like IBS
2/25/2014 12:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Al Roker ... who famously crapped his pants at the White House ... took repeated cheap shots at former pal Conan O'Brien ... saying he misses him on "real TV."
Here's the backstory ... Al used to appear frequently on Conan's show back in the day at NBC, but the 2 apparently had a falling out.
So on the Sirius show "Stand Up" with Pete Dominick, Roker got incredibly holier than thou, saying he thought Conan was on "this web thing." Apparently Al doesn't know the web is kinda the future.
Nonetheless ... he then took a shot at TBS, Dominick mentioned that Al had IBS at the White House, and Al dismissively shot back that TBS and IBS are the same thing.
Al certainly knows crappy TV ... so maybe he's right.
Lawyer Says Mia's Just
A Bitter Bitch
2/4/2014 6:02 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Mia Farrow is a bitter woman living in the past, brainwashing her children, and propagating outrageous lies just to hurt her wildly successful and acclaimed ex ... so claims Woody Allen's lawyer.
Attorney Elkan Abramowitz did Allen's bidding on the "Today" show Tuesday ... claiming Mia went on the warpath because she couldn't handle the fact that his client got a Golden Globe Lifetime Achievement Award.
As you know ... Woody's adopted daughter Dylan claims he molested her when she was 7 and she got real specific over the weekend ... claiming, among other things, he shoved his face in her naked crotch.
To believe Abramowitz you also have to believe that Mia has brainwashed both Dylan and Woody's biological son, Ronan Farrow.
Kate Put Our Kids in 'Horrible' Situation
1/16/2014 12:10 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Jon Gosselin says he felt TERRIBLE for his daughters for having to appear on the "Today" show with Kate this morning ... telling TMZ the whole thing was "horrible" to watch.
Gosselin appeared on "TMZ Live" moments ago and said Kate's humiliating meltdown on live TV this morning shows exactly why the kids shouldn't be forced to participate in a lengthy publicity tour with their mother.
"I’m going to handle this as a family matter," Jon said ... adding, "I don’t want to affect the children anymore."
My Problem Isn't Drugs & Booze
... It's Food!
11/19/2013 8:30 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Toronto's crack smokin' Mayor Rob Ford says he doesn't need help with booze and drugs ... Ford instead says he really needs to come to terms with his enormous appetite.
Ford was on the 'Today' show and told Matt Lauer he's not in any kind of treatment program for alcohol or for drugs ... but claims he's training every day to drop some lbs.
Ford -- who just got stripped of most of his mayoral duties -- admitted he smoked crack cocaine ... "probably in one of my drunken stupors" ... after video leaked showing him smoking.
But you gotta hear Ford explain why citizens of Toronto have nothing to fear when he's on a binge ... because GOOD FORTUNE is on his side.
Feelin' lucky, Canada?
Miley to Matt Lauer
People Stop Bangin' at 40
... And You're Way Past 40
10/7/2013 8:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Miley Cyrus just told Matt Lauer she'll probably stop being so sexual when she turns 40 ... because that's the age when people STOP having sex.
Miley appeared on the "Today" show this morning -- in a pair of really short shorts -- when Matt asked if Miley's hyper "sexual side" is just a phase or something she expects to grow out of?
Miley replied with a pretty direct shot at Lauer ... a shot he didn't really seem to get at first.
Still, we gotta ask ...
Delusional Ex-Doc Thinks
MJ Death Verdict Vindicates Him
10/3/2013 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Michael Jackson's former doctor and convicted killer, Conrad Murray, must be getting pretty strong meds behind bars ... because he thinks the jury in the wrongful death trial proved he's a good physician -- he's dead wrong.
TMZ obtained audio of Murray leaving a message for someone shortly after the judge announced AEG Live was not accountable for MJ's death -- and on the recording, Murray says the decision proves, "I have never been and never will be an inept physician."
Murray's missing one giant point ... which is that the jury really only said they felt he was fit to do what AEG hired him to do -- be a good general practitioner for MJ. The part about pumping Michael full of Propofol every night was never relevant to the questions the jury was asked to answer.
In fact, the jury foreman made it clear they were NOT saying they felt Murray was ethical -- and said the verdict might have been different if ethics were in play during this trial.
Nonetheless, Murray feels vindicated ... so, you gotta hear him gushing and praising God, the jury, and the justice system ... this time, anyway.
Agassi Was Kind Of a D**k
10/3/2013 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Andre Agassi said a pretty horrible thing to Brooke Shields in the middle of their nasty divorce back in the day ... so says Brooke, who decided it was finally time to call out her ex on live TV yesterday.
Shields was co-hosting the "Today" show and discussing divorce with legendary disso-queen Laura Wasser -- who was plugging her new book, "It Doesn't Have to Be That Way: How to Divorce Without Destroying Your Family or Bankrupting Yourself."
But when the topic turned to divorces that involve children, Shields chimed in with a shocker ... claiming Andre once told her, "Be happy we don't have children or I would not have made this easy for you."
After an uncomfortable laugh, she continued, "And therein lies why I'm not there anymore."
FYI -- Agassi and Shields divorced in 1999 after a rocky 2 years together. After they split, Agassi penned an autobiography in which he said he never should have married Brooke in the first place.
We're guessin' the feeling is mutual.
George Should Have Been Found GUILTY
9/26/2013 12:42 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Shellie Zimmerman -- who stood solidly by husband George Zimmerman during his trial for gunning down Trayvon Martin -- now says she has doubts about George's innocence.
Shellie -- who's in the middle of a nasty divorce -- appeared on the "Today" show, saying "I think anyone would doubt [George's] innocence, because I don't know the person that I've been married to."
As for why Shellie's changing her tune ... she says it's all about the incident at their home this month when she called cops and claimed George was threatening her with a gun.
She admits she never saw a weapon... but saw George with his hand inside his shirt ... and "a look in his eyes" that she'd never seen before.
Ariel Castro Interview
8/2/2013 12:25 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ohio rapist kidnapper Ariel Castro is the new Lindsay Lohan ... at least in Matt Lauer's eyes -- because the "Today" host has been turned away from interviewing him, TMZ has learned.
Law enforcement sources tell us, Matt and his crew showed up Friday morning at the Cuyahoga County justice center in Cleveland -- where Castro is being held -- but sheriff's deputies turned him away because the media was persona non grata.
It wasn't Castro's choice -- we're told Lauer's timing was just off. In fact, sources at the jail tell TMZ ... when Lauer walked in to the jail, he made it seem as if the interview was prearranged -- something to the effect of, "I'm here to interview Ariel Castro."
It's the second time Lauer's been turned away from a major interview -- back in 2011, Lindsay Lohan shut Matt down at her front door.
A rep for the "Today" show declined comment.
Challenge: Hit Me With A Rock
And Kill Me
6/26/2013 5:20 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Paula Deen defiantly, and tearfully, says she doesn't need to change when it comes to using offensive words, but young Black people do -- oh, and Jesse Jackson's got her back.
Deen burst into tears on 'Today' while telling Matt Lauer, "If there's anyone out there that has never said something that they wish they could take back ... please pick up that stone and throw it so hard at my head that it kills me."
She added, "I is what I is and I'm not changing."
When asked if she had any doubt the n-word was offensive to Black people, she claimed she didn't know because ... "it's very distressing for me to go into my kitchens and I hear what these young people are calling each other. It's very, very distressing."
Deen also managed to do a little name dropping ... claiming she's gotten support from Rev. Jesse Jackson.