Ryan Seacrest, the ubiquitous host of American Idol, E! News and the syndicated radio countdown American Top 40, is being courted by NBC as a potential replacement for Matt Lauer on the Today show. Lauer is reportedly considering a departure from the magazine-style morning program next year.
The fact that American Idol is broadcast on the Fox network raises questions about Seacrest's continued role on that show, should he accept the Today assignment. At this stage, however, talks betwen Seacrest and NBC have been characterized as "preliminary." Seacrest has a production deal with NBCUniversal, which owns the E! network, but the contract expires in early 2012.