January 06, 2012 01:49 PM by Ashley Lee
The X Factor isn’t the only FOX show whose host sits in limbo. After hosting American Idol for ten seasons, the fate of Ryan Seacrest is also up in the air as he nears the end of his contract with the show. Though he’s currently making $15 million per year as the Idol host, the negotiations to keep him may not go as planned, as his production parent company NBCUniversal is looking to transplant him to New York to host the TODAY show. Why is American Idol okay with losing Seacrest?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, an inside Idol source states that the show’s creator Simon Fuller had a huge influence in the negotiations and was always a strong propeller behind Seacrest’s success. Yet since he sold his company to CKx in 2009 and ended all associations with the show last year, CKx and fellow production companies FOX and FremantleMedia may be singing a different tune.
After all, American Idol survived the departure of judge Simon Cowell after season nine, right? Can they also survive without Ryan Seacrest as well? “There’s no way Fremantle and CKx will continue to pay Ryan that kind of money when he can be replaced for $2 million to $3 million,” the source says.
In addition, NBCUniversal also has Seacrest under contract with E! Entertainment, as he hosts E! News and red carpet specials, and produces incredibly successful reality shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians and all its spin-offs. NBCUniversal is seriously looking to move him over to New York to potentially replace TODAY host Matt Lauer, whose contract also ends this year.
An insider: “NBC would love to get Ryan out of Idol because they have The Voice. Ryan is using it to renegotiate his deals, and NBC is looking for leverage with Lauer.”
What do you think: is Ryan’s time on American Idol over? Can he be the Matt Lauer replacement that NBCUniversal is looking for?
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