CNN Signs Eliot Spitzer For Less, But Will It Pay Off?

by | July 21, 2010 at 10:36 AM | TV News

Former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer reportedly signed a $500,000 deal to co-host a new show on CNN.  (Scott Wintrow, Getty Images)

Former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer reportedly signed a $500,000 deal to co-host a new show on CNN. (Scott Wintrow, Getty Images)


Was signing former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer a good deal for CNN or desperation on Spitzer’s part? “CNN got Spitzer cheap,” reported the NY Post, adding that the newbie co-host (along with Kathleen Parker, he’ll preside over a roundtable format debating the day’s hot topics) signed for around $500,000. Of course, for real people, half a mil is a fantastic salary. But in the world of television news anchors and personalities, it’s near the poverty level. A few years ago, TV Guide reported CBS News anchor Katie Couric’s annual salary at $12 million, NBC news anchor Brian Williams at $8 million and CNN’s 360 guy, Anderson Cooper at $5 million. The Post even had retiring Larry King signing a new deal at $3 million merely to host specials. And who knows what CNN will pay the individual who takes over King’s slot (Piers Morgan remains the front-runner, especially now that NBC has said they’ll share the British personality with the cable news network), but you can bet an armored truck full of cash will be involved. So here’s the question. Are these salaries worth it? Do you watch the news to see these individuals? Do you even watch TV news or is that something our parents and grandparents did when they had fewer options? What would you tell TV news execs, especially those at CNN, to make their shows more meaningful to you? Maybe more to the point, do you even want to hear Spitzer’s take on daily headlines and events?