Ryan Seacrest is an in-demand guy, but he may not be demanded on the set of Americal Idol much longer. With his three year contract coming up for negotiation, it looks like Fox might be willing to let him leave the show rather than pay the $15 million each year he currently brings in for hosting Idol. Seacrest has his fingers in plenty of pies and a lot of potential new work being dangled, so there’s no reason to believe he’ll take a pay cut to keep his hosting gig.

Sources for The Hollywood Reporter claim that Fox isn’t going to offer Seacrest a new contract at the same high pay rate he’s been commanding. It seems they believe that if Idol was able to stay strong after the departure of Simon Cowell, it can also survive losing Seacrest. Of course, Cowell wasn’t exactly anyone’s favorite person to begin with.

With a plethora of duties over at E! and a potential offer to host The Today Show previously reported, Seacrest doesn’t really need Idol, and NBCUniversal is likely to lobby hard to get their claws into him even further. Seacrest also has his current three-year deal with Clear Channel bringing in a cool $60 million, so he’s not exactly hurting for income.

It seems likely that if Fox offers him a continued role on the show at a lower pay rate, Seacrest will walk. In the complex world of leverage and negotiations, Seacrest, current Today host Matt Lauer, and several networks are bound up together, each with an agenda. As contracts come up for renewal in 2012, we’ll have to wait and see who stands where when the dust settles – but it doesn’t seem likely we’ll see Ryan Seacrest standing on the Idol stage after the eleventh season ends.

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