Jan. 5, 2012 at 6:26 PM ET
Ryan Seacrest makes a lot of money hosting Fox megahit "American Idol." A lot. As in a reported $15-million-a-year a lot.
But according to The Hollywood Reporter, now that his three-year contract is coming to an end after this season, CKx (parent company of "Idol" producer 19 Entertainment) may not be willing to sign such a big paycheck going forward. Why? A source told THR that the powers that be at "Idol" believe that since the show not only survived but did well after the exit of former judge Simon Cowell after season nine, it can continue on with success minus Seacrest and his currently huge salary.
"There's no way FremantleMedia (which also produces "Idol") 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 THR.
But surely, Fox must know that finding the perfect host can be tough. "Idol" nixed co-host Brian Dunkleman after season one. And there have been rumors that "X Factor's" Steve Jones may be out after a shaky first season as host.
Does Seacrest deserve $15 million a season for his work on "Idol"? Or would the show be better off without him? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page!