Katie Couric to Take CBS Anchor Chair, $7 Million Pay Cut

Fox entertainment columnist Roger Friedman reports that Katie Couric will take the CBS News anchor job when her NBC contract expires–even though it will require a huge pay cut.

If Katie Couric takes Dan Rather’s old job on the CBS Evening News, it will cost her big time — $7 million a year. Right now, Katie makes around $13 million a year co-hosting the “Today” show with Matt Lauer. I’m told that NBC wants her to stay put so badly they will offer her $20 million a year, a $7 million hike, to spurn CBS’s advances.

And here’s the rub: according to my sources, CBS will probably not offer Katie much more than she’s getting now. The CBS Evening News is a half-hour show, vs. the three-hour “Today” show. It’s also not a big money maker. So Couric’s take is likely to remain the same as it is now.

Nevertheless, Couric is probably going to take the job when the offer comes to her officially in mid-May. Her NBC contract doesn’t expire until May 31, and she’s not allowed to talk to any competitors until two weeks before that date.




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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Anderson says:

    But now she gets to sleep in!

    I am trying to imagine a lifestyle where my present salary of $13M seems inadequate and I feel that I must accept $20M a year instead.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Indeed. Although she’s actually contemplating going the other way.

  3. Except it’s not a real pay cut at all; she is simply forgoing potential future income (an opportunity cost).

    Not to mention that headlining the CBS Evening News is a prestige bump over the Today Show, and much less work to boot.

  4. Herb says:

    I did not and would not watch her on NBC and the same criterion will apply for her on CBS.

    Katie baby is another overpaid premodnna that will do and say anything to glorify her own twisted ego.

  5. Digger says:

    I’d take a half hour job at 5:30PM over a 3 hour job at 6AM for the same pay. Hell I’d even take a pay cut because it would make my life so much less miserable.

  6. Maggie says:

    Poor girl, now she’ll never get to fawn all over Tom Cruise again.

    It’s hard enough for me to listen to the “perky” Katie Couric in the morning when I’m bright and shiny; can’t imagine dealing with her when I’m tired and grumpy after a long day.

    One more reason NOT to watch the Rathergate network.

  7. mary says:

    Ooooooh, eat your hearts out…she is a celebrity…not a news women…

  8. ICallMasICM says:

    She must have a high Q rating with the Geritol set. They should have picked her instead.

  9. denise says:

    She’ll be making more per hour under the CBS deal. In fact, if she does 260 broadcasts a year (which would be every weekday in a year so unlikely), that’s $50,000 per half hour show.

    Not bad at all.