CBS News is mulling over modifications to its lineup. According to Alexandra Steigrad of the New York Post, CBS executives plan to slash Norah O’Donnell’s wage and maybe take away her as host of CBS Evening News as effectively.
O’Donnell’s contract with CBS, which pays her round $8 million per 12 months, expires this spring, and now flashy new CBS co-president Neeraj Khemlani hopes to considerably scale back community salaries and deliver Evening News again to New York.
At O’Donnell’s behest, earlier CBS executives moved the nightly newscast from New York to Washington DC — at nice expense to the community. Vastly slicing O’Donnell’s wage could now be vital for O’Donnell brokers if ViacomCBS plans to chop prices forward of a possible sale.
“I don’t see a world in which Norah O’Donnell anchors the show from DC,” an insider instructed The Post. “The network definitely needs to lower her salary — halve it or put someone in who costs less.”
CBS sees O’Donnell as replaceable and, at near $10 million yearly, a unfavorable on stability for 2 causes.
— She can’t preserve tempo along with her competitors at 6:30 pm ET. In 2020, CBS Evening News with Norah O’Donnell averaged 5.92 million viewers, effectively behind David Muir’s ABC World News at 9.61 million and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt’s 8.29 million.
— Reports say that O’Donnell mistreats hair, make-up, and wardrobe workers. O’Donnell’s toxicity is her gravest flaw.
If O’Donnell refuses to maneuver again to New York on a diminished wage, CBS can improve her function on 60 Minutes, à la how the community dealt with Scott Pelley’s transition off Evening News in 2017.
So who may exchange O’Donnell?
News junkies will bear in mind reviews that Brian Williams’ legal professional, Bob Barnett, not too long ago talked with Khemlani about an unspecified function at CBS. Brian Williams’ contract with MSNBC — which pays him round $10 million a 12 months — expires on the finish of the 12 months. In addition, Williams needs to maneuver away from his present 11 pm ET time slot. While Williams’ return to night information would give CBS a possibility to rebrand itself, it’s laborious to think about CBS inks the deal. At 62, Williams comes with baggage and a hefty price ticket.
Therefore, CBS could have a look at Mornings co-host Tony Dokoupil. Dokoupil is simply 40 and may host Evening News at near his present wage of $2 million. Tony Dokoupil is only one of a number of in-house candidates who could make a case for O’Donnell’s job.
But earlier than CBS decides what to do with O’Donnell, the community first has to determine what to do with Gayle King. King, who’s additionally in the midst of negotiations with CBS, would possibly depart Mornings on her personal accord and transfer to Los Angeles. If CBS can’t preserve King in the morning, Steigrad says CBS has mentioned providing King a contract to create content material for Paramount+, amongst different roles.
Finally, replacing each King and O’Donnell forward of the 2022 midterms would create a staggering domino impact throughout the information trade, an final result now more and more life like.