Television personality Ryan Seacrest may have to take a pay cut after his $15 million a year contract to host "American Idol" approaches the end of its three-year tenure, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.
An insider from the No. 1 singing competition show says it is unlikely that Seacrest will be granted the $45 million figure he received back in 2009. According to the source, "American Idol" feels that if the program was able to stay afloat sans creator/judge Simon Cowell, they can also make it without Seacrest if he continues to cost them an arm and a leg.
"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 told The Hollywood Reporter.
Fox, FremantleMedia and CKx produce "American Idol."
Simon Cowell, “American Idol” creator and friend of Seacrest, no longer has negotiating power for the host since he sold his entertainment company, 19 Entertainment, to CKx in 2005. Cowell officially ended his affiliation with the company in 2011.
"NBC would love to get Ryan out of “American Idol” because they have "The Voice." Ryan is using it to renegotiate his deals, and NBC is looking for leverage with Lauer," the source told The Hollywood Reporter.
MSNBC’s "The Today Show" host Matt Lauer’s contract expires this year and Seacrest is his rumored replacement.
Don’t feel sorry for Seacrest, however. The host also has a $60 million, three-year contract with Clear Channel radio, a hosting gig on the E! Channel, and is the producing force behind E!’s "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," among other gigs.
"It's in Ryan's best interest to make them sweat -- the company has new people running it and has to play the game," the “American Idol” inside source told The Hollywood Reporter.