CBS News Anchor Norah O’Donnell Took 52% Pay Cut to Extend Contract (Report)

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CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell reportedly had her pay cut by more than half, according to a new report from the New York Post.

According the Post, O’Donnell was re-signed as an anchor in April of this year, with $3.8 million annual salary. That is less than half of her previous $8 million contract, amid decreased ratings. The report also states that O’Donnell clashed with Neeraj Khemlani, the co-president of CBS News, who was looking to replace O’Donnell. CBS did not specify the exact money agreed to in O’Donnell’s contract, but denied that Khemlani had any problems with O’Donnell.

“Wrong again,” a CBS spokesperson said in a statement to TheWrap. “Neeraj led the effort to retain and re-sign about a dozen of our biggest anchors and correspondents over the last year including Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King – and recruited a few new ones like Nate Burleson and Robert Costa.”

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According to the report, CBS execs offered O’Donnell a “low ball” offer during negotiations. The report states that CBS expected O’Donnell to reject the offer and were surprised when she agreed to the new rate.

A CNN report stated that Khemlani talked to Brian Williams, who was in the process of leaving MSNBC and even considered Tony Tokoupil, her “CBS Morning” co-host.

“While there are huge prime time openings elsewhere in the News industry, CBS News has the No. 1 news broadcasts and finished the season with multiple shows including morning and evenings in their most competitive position ever,” the CBS spokesperson said. “Apparently, the more false stories the NY Post writes, the better things go for CBS News.”

For the record: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that CBS had denied the report about O’Donnell’s drop in salary.

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