Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Photo: Ryan Seacrest and Randy Jackson Get Together at the American Idol Finalist Party on March 3, 2011

With judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson gearing up to enter the most “grueling” season of American Idol yet, host Ryan Seacrest is assessing his many options with — and without — the internationally popular talent show. In late 2011, rumors swirled that Seacrest was up to replace Matt Lauer on The Today Show, a move many credited to NBCU’s desire to get Seacrest in their stable.

Seacrest’s hugely successful empire, which includes a radio show and the four Kardashian reality shows, might be working against him. An Idol insider tells The Hollywood Reporter Seacrest isn’t likely to pull in the same massive salary structure for Idol he secured back in 2009. The source adds that Idol’s production companies aren’t convinced they should continue to pay Ryan the $20-plus million per year he currently nets for his hosting duties. "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."

It’s not just Idol’s parent companies looking to oust Seacrest; NBC is angling to nab Seacrest for The Today Show and, possibly, The Voice. The source spills: "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."

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

Need your daily dose of American Idol? Like us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/AmericanIdolFansite, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/IdolWetpaint!