We have now entered the negotiating-in-the-press phase of Matt Lauer’s ouster from NBC News.

Savannah Guthrie, you’ll recall, got unhappy assignment of announcing Lauer’s sacking on Wednesday – though we hear he got the news Tuesday night. The company cited “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace,” and that was before more reports of women came after he got the hook, in sister publication Variety as well as the New York Times.

The longtime Today show co-host, and brightest star in the NBC News firmament, has said in a statement that he has “no words to express my sorrow and regret” as well as Lauer’s pain and embarrassment. He does, however, have a price tag – $30M.

That’s the amount Lauer’s legal team is seeking for their client, for the year-and-a-half Lauer had left on his $20-M-ish-a-year contract with the company. NY Post first reported the dollar amount; CNN explains it reflects how important Lauer was to Today, and how extremely profitable its morning show is.

This is pretty rich, given the reason Lauer got the hook.

NBC thinks so too.

As we previously reported, it would appear Lauer’s contract does have morals clause; an NBC source explains that, since Lauer was terminated for cause, he will not be paid past his last day.

His last day was Tuesday.