Patterico's Pontifications


Katie Couric’s Contract

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 8:14 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

Reportedly Katie Couric is paid $14M a year or $300K a week. That’s several multiples more than most CBS employees, and apparently some of them have noticed:

“Couric, the highest paid TV news personality in history, commands over $14 million a year, plus bumps for non-EVENING NEWS appearances.

But her salary is now in the direct line of fire, network insiders explain, and a populist backlash against Couric’s cash is said to be forming inside the newsroom.

“She makes enough to pay 200 news reporters $75,000 a year!” demands a veteran producer. “It’s complete insanity.”

The angry source continues: “We report with great enthusiasm how much bankers are making, how it is out of step with reality during a recession. Well, look at Katie!”

Couric’s $300,000 a week paycheck has become the obsession of disgruntled CBS staff, just as deep layoffs rock the fishbowl.”

The New York Post says Couric makes $15M a year and her continued big paycheck is questionable since CBS News “laid off 150 people on Monday — including, for the first time, staffers at ’60 Minutes’.” But Politico reports CBS News and Sports’ President Sean McManus denied Couric is facing a salary cut next year.


40 Responses to “Katie Couric’s Contract”

  1. Dana, did you see that photograph of Katie Couric at Drudge. I don’t mean to be rude, but doesn’t she look like David Bowie from the 80s? Where are her stylists?

    If I’m unfair, sorry. But I have seen you show great image sense, so your opinion would be interesting.

    Eric Blair (20b3a8)

  2. What amazes me about Couric’s show is that, amazingly, Dan Rather was much better.

    Usually I think these complaints about celeb or top level salary are unrealistic, but in this case, I am surprised anyone ever thought she was worth this kind of money. No wonder she was dancing like an idiot.

    200 reporters earning $75,000? Yeah, you could come up with a hell of a show if you actually used your army of investigators these days. If you could actually turn some professional scrutiny on ACORN or SEIU or Obama, you’d have a blockbuster show.

    This is why I think reports of the end of journalism are overstated. This CBS approach doesn’t qualify as a legitimate attempt.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  3. Uh…Katie…..remember what your liberal Messiah talked about during the campaign…..

    ….it’s time to “spread the wealth around”….

    …come on Katie…don’t you care about all the families of your co-workers your putting on the streets with that fat cat salary of yours.

    Baxter Greene (af5030)

  4. Victor Davis Hanson makes the same case …

    What‘s interesting is that Obama’s egalitarian “J’accuse!” movement was largely supported by those who — logically, at least — were precisely the individuals Obama was railing against: people earning more than $200,000 a year who make x-times more than their lowly coworkers.

    Neo (7830e6)

  5. Is this the same Katie Couric who slammed the Wall Street execs massive payments last year? That Katie Couric???

    Eric, yes, I saw it. But rather than David Bowie, I immediately thought Suzy Ormon… bottom line, a middle aged woman sporting a boys regular just isn’t doing herself any favors.

    Hmm… okay, maybe it’s more than just the bad ‘do that’s not working for her.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  6. Isn’t it interesting that NOBODY wants to be like Katie???

    How sad (really, sark tag off here) is it that those people don’t understand the simple positive of the capitalistic system: that ANYONE can make it big if they put themselves in the right positions at the right times….

    It proves Rush’s point: that all liberals want to do is dumb down everyone and everything….

    reff (176333)

  7. with all that money, you’d think she could afford dance lessons.

    either that or a babysitter to keep her from acting the fool when she gets hammered.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  8. It would be just wonderful if Couric took a voluntary pay cut…just to save a few average joes’ jobs… it seems like she would really understand their pain,

    “I think more distant – I hate to say that, but I think, I think the economic situation in this country, I think, when people are struggling, that sometimes they need a place to vent their rage and to channel their rage and I think, I feel like right now in many ways, we’re a very angry nation,” Couric said. “Very frustrated, troubled and disappointed in many ways in terms of people feeling that the American dream just isn’t within their reach.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  9. Dana that quote is pretty unbearable to read. If Palin had said that, Couric would have eviscerated her.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  10. Serious journalism. Her page 6 NY Post thong flashes aren’t available on teh google. Sad.

    carlitos (491428)

  11. if Palin had said it, she’d be Katie…..

    that’s one reason why Sarah is so maligned. the stupid people hate her.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  12. In all honesty, “serious journalism” is caught in a quandary that, right now, it can’t escape.

    Traditional journalism — in this case newspapers and TV — still work on a business model established decades ago when they had a monopoly.

    That monopoly was not news, though. It was two other things — advertising dollars and time.

    Back in the day, most communities only had three network stations, if they were lucky, and maybe two newspapers. Time and advertising space were allocated at a premium. (Radio is worth a whole ‘nother post I won’t go into right now).

    So, the broadcast and print media needed trusted, “responsible” personalities and newsmen, trusted by the populace, to disseminate the news when the ads were not running and to fill the space around the department store ads.

    Then cable, and later the Internet, came along and diluted the advertising potential. And people fled the traditional media for a new value proposition.

    But traditional media clings to the value of an old paradigm that allows someone such as Couric to simply replace Cronkite and the revenue will continue to flow.

    Ag80 (1592cc)

  13. Dana, you are surely write about Suzy Ormon. But check this out:×0.398×512.jpeg

    Eric Blair (20b3a8)

  14. Or even “right” instead of “write.”


    Eric Blair (20b3a8)

  15. With her ratings, she should be paying CBS.

    AD - RtR/OS! (b1d1f9)

  16. I am to be upset liberals at CBS are getting fired and Katie is a hypocritical, demagogue who still lives like a Queen?

    All these Hollywood Media Talents are disgusting slime who should be sent to a gulag for 10 years for their hypocrisy.

    Let me sum up Katie …. “I love Liberalism so long as I am fabulously wealthy and I can feel good advocating giving away other people’s property or endangering other people’s security.

    Yo comi, comio Madrid.

    HeavenSent (ae267e)

  17. In Katie’s world what she does is soooooo much more valuable to society than what a banker does. So she deserves her pay. Got it?

    HeavenSent (ae267e)

  18. One of the many moments of lack of self awareness was when the 15 million gal, complained well ‘you
    needed a loan to pay for this gasoline”

    ian cormac (79614d)

  19. On behalf of Ziggy fans everywhere, I denounce any and all attempts to equate his look with some hacky, 3rd – rate former morning host drag queen. At least Bowie was a practicing bi – sexual back when he sported those adrogynous looks in the 70’s…what’s Katie’s excuse? And let’s not even get into the relative merits of the talent levels on display here, not to mention Bowie could dance, man. (“Let’s Dance”)

    Dmac (539341)

  20. What I want to know is how these media conglomerates will benefit from the recent Supreme Court campaign finance decision. After all, ads is what they sell, right?

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  21. I don’t care if she makes enough to cover the salaries of 500 news reporters, she got the contract because the owners of CBS (acting through the managers they hired to look out for their investment) felt at the time that spending $15 million for her was better for CBS than spending it elsewhere… and it isn’t for me or the government or some bitter about-to-be laid off news reporters to dictate to CBS shareholders how they go about spending their money. If CBS shareholders screw up by hiring managers who think it is a great idea to pay Couric $15 million a year, they’re entitled to do so, it is their money and they can do what they want with it. And if the bitter news reporters didn’t like it, they were free to go work for an organization whose owners spent their money more to their liking. But they didn’t quit CBS, they were happy to stay there so long as they got paid and now that things didn’t work out as nicely as hoped, they’re all pissed off…. well, tough.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  22. You are missing the point, here, steve, she has continued to be paid an exorbitant amount, despite
    the fact that she doesn’t perform, Redstone has had to keep rearranging assets in order to do this. Yet
    she is one of the lead persons in castigating business for their decisions, and wishing them to
    be taxed for the privilege

    ian cormac (79614d)

  23. Ian: it doesn’t matter that she isn’t performing nor that she’s hypocritical and stupid, it isn’t our money so we don’t get a say, any more than I get a say in how you spend your money. If CBS wants to waste their money, it’s their money.

    steve sturm (369bc6)

  24. […] Staffers Out, Technology Correspondent Daniel Sieberg Cut Patterico’s Pontifications: Katie Couric’s Contract The Wenatchee World: CBS layoffs won’t spare ‘60 Minutes’ GayPatriot: Hey Obama, Can You […]

    Obama’s Recession Hits Liberal Media… Katie Couric Earns $300,000 a WEEK, CBS News Employees Face Massive Pay Cuts & Lay-Offs « Frugal Café Blog Zone (a66042)

  25. If someone suggested Rush Limbaugh were getting paid too much I suspect there would be an entirely different reaction, with many free market references.

    Let me introduce you to the ON/OFF button

    vor2 (8e6b90)

  26. That’s just it, they keep paying Couric and Olbermann, despite their success, not because
    of it, and Rather is among those who wants thepress to be subsidized, so they don’t have to
    worry with minor issues like ratings or truth,well you get the picture. Mark Lloyd, at the FCC,
    who thinks the Fairness Doctrine doesn’t go far enoughthinks “Chavez imposed a “wonderful
    democratic revolution” wants to levy an exorbitant fee, on talk radio, to put them out of business
    and replace them with more Air America type stations. He finds the idea of free speech too abstract,specially when it conflicts with the
    redistribution of wealth

    ian cormac (79614d)

  27. You are right, steve sturm, it is CBS’ money.

    And I get the right to rail about how hypocritical her faux “news” reporting is, in light of her salary and her crappy work.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  28. Big salaries and bonuses for non-performing media hacks–O.K. Big salaries and bonuses for non-performing bankers–not O.K. And the former gets to scream all day long about the latter with impunity. Makes perfect sense.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  29. If senior management at CBS want to pretend that their heads are suppositories and use them accordingly: it is no skin off my nose if they smother.

    BarSinister (ab215b)

  30. #13 can’t be unseen. Separated at birth?

    “If CBS wants to waste their money, it’s their money.

    Comment by steve sturm ”

    This is so true.

    Now, we don’t have a right to tell them what they must do, but we have the same right CBS exercises day in and day out to remark on choices they don’t agree with.

    The Fox News model could be applied to CBS and newspapers if they want to turn it around, though. Eventually, one of the networks is going to realize this.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  31. If someone suggested Rush Limbaugh were getting paid too much I suspect there would be an entirely different reaction, with many free market references.

    Let me introduce you to the ON/OFF button

    Comment by vor2 — 2/4/2010 @ 7:26 am

    The major difference idiot, is that Rush pays himself out of the money he makes on his own syndicated radio show and from the ad revenue he receives. He also pays his employees from that revenue also. I don’t see any headlines that Rush is laying his employees off. Do you?

    peedoffamerican (422035)

  32. an entirely different reaction, with many free market references.

    Wait a sec… several here mention the free market re: Couric.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  33. POA,
    So we regulate free market for banks and CBS but not Rush. Got it. Thanks for illustrating my point…

    vor2 (8e6b90)

  34. No that is not it moron. It is not on us to regulate it, it is the free market that regulates it by competition. The free market is what allows Rush to make his money.

    “The problem with America is stupidity. I’m not saying there should be capital punishment for stupidity, but why don’t we just take the warning labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?”

    peedoffamerican (422035)

  35. POA,

    Then why the outrage about Couric’s salary? Did she get her contract because the network felt she was worth it?
    You don’t seem to like Couric and you like Rush – hence the pretzel logic you insist on.

    As for your label how many dead children would it take for you to rethink that snappy one-liner?

    vor2 (8e6b90)

  36. I haven’t decried Couric’s salary at all, that is left to CBS and its stockholders. But to make this point, if the free market will not support Couric’s salary, why would a business engaged in the free market continue to pay it?

    peedoffamerican (422035)

  37. And its not children that are supposedly reading the warnings. It is the parents job to educate children in safety, but nice try at a strawman. I don’t see warning signs on streets that say, “Look both ways b4 crossing or you might get squashed like a bug.” Most of these warning signs are pure bullshit that any person with an ounce of common sense wouldn’t do in the first place.

    Take this one case. Man wins lawsuit after picking up a running lawnmower and tries to use it to trim his hedges with. Now lawnmowers have warning signs that tell you not to put hands under it when it is running. WELL DUH! People like this need to be locked up for their total lack of any thing that resembles common sense whatsoever.

    peedoffamerican (422035)

  38. Or just let nature take its course and weed them out by their stupid actions.

    peedoffamerican (422035)

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