While ABC News cuts 300 staffers, CBS News slashes newsrooms, NBC news affiliates force GE to change their primetime ways, and other networks continue to moan about money woes, The Nation’s Eric Alterman poses an idea, one that we’ve made before: Why keep fat cat anchors happy with $15 million+ salaries while the rest of the company suffers?Here’s Alterman:
Imagine a world in which evening anchors, morning hosts (and even network news division presidents) were paid like journalists instead of hedge-fund managers. How many “resources” would that free up to invest in genuine news-gathering operations? Veteran print editors and reporters at places like the Times and The New Yorker manage to feed and clothe their families without costing their companies a million bucks a month, and they produce a great deal more valuable reporting and analysis than the network news stars do. So, too, do the folks at PBS and NPR. Would any sane person argue that the work of Bill Moyers or Terry Gross is somehow inferior to that of their network counterparts? (Here at The Nation, well, let’s just say salaries are more in line with real cops than the actors who play them on Law & Order.)
Let’s view some payrolls:
- Charlie Gibson made a reported $7-8 million a year for anchoring ABC’s World News.
- ABC News’ Diane Sawyer, makes a reported $12-15 million-a-year salary.
- CBS News president had to hush rumours that evening news anchor Katie Couric was going to get a salary cut after her $15 million-a-year contract expires next year.
- NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams reportedly makes $10 million a year.
If they got paid what journalists get paid, networks would be rich!
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