Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Katie Couric Expecting Big Pay Cut

NYC, Dec 21, 2010. CBS began preliminary talks on a new contract for Katie Couric, looking to cut the evening news anchor’s $15 million salary due to her falling viewership.

Both sides recognize Couric’s salary must be reduced in order for her to remain at CBS. This season, the “CBS Evening News With Katie Couric” is averaging 5.73 million viewers a night, according to Nielsen Co. data, behind NBC and ABC, and down 24 percent from when she took over in 2006.

During Couric’s four-plus years in the anchor chair, the audience for CBS’s nightly newscast has declined faster than at rival telecasts, according to Nielsen data.

NBC’s newscast is averaging 8.59 million viewers a night in the current TV season, down 5 percent from four years ago, while second-place ABC is averaging 7.47 million, down 12 percent. And Katie is down 24 percent over the same time period.

$15 million per year sounds like a lot of money to most people, but TV hosts generally earn a lot more than that.

FoxNews's Bill O'Reilly earns approximately $20 million per year. Sean Hannity is reported to earn $25 million per year, and Glen Beck reportedly earns $32 million per year, from his TV program, radio show, and book sales, and Rush Limbaugh is estimated to earn over $60 million per year. His radio contract with Clear Chanel alone pays him $50 million a year for 8 years!

The good news for Katie Couric is that even with a big salary cut, she will still out earn Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow. Combined.

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