A few weeks ago, there were media reports that contract negotiations
between Good Morning America’s co-host Robin Roberts and the ABC Network
weren’t going too well, and that things were at an impasse.
GMA had taken over the No. 1 morning show slot from The Today Show, which had been slipping
badly in the ratings, though it has been inching back up lately, and Roberts
felt that she was deserving of a big increase in salary; and who could blame
her? However the network was being hesitant.
However it looks like all is well now that it’s been
leaked that Roberts has just reached a new long term deal with ABC which will
net her $14 million a year.
However to keep things in perspective, that’s still way
short of the $25 million a year that
Matt Lauer gets for the Today Show,
who came under fire this past summer for refusing to cut his salary in order to
save the jobs of several Today show staff people.
But according to an ABC network insider, who a has
knowledge of the Roberts deal: “Over a month ago, they quietly inked a new,
long-term, very high seven-figure deal with Robin that will keep her at the
company for years to come . . . Robin’s been at ABC News for over 20 years and will be a leader there for a very long time to come.”
Roberts, who has had her share of health issues over the
past few years, including a recent risky bone marrow transplant, is considered to be a major factor for GMA’s resurgence
in the ratings.
The only problem now is for ABC to negotiate new
contracts with the other co-hosts on the show – Josh Elliott and Lara Spencer (George
Stephanopoulos already has his own contract through 2014) – who, no doubt, want
a major increase in their salaries too, considering what Roberts just got.
However, it’s being reported that both Spencer and Elliott
are already making overtures to other networks, knowing that the ABC is not even
remotely going to match what Roberts is getting.
As the insider said: “The question is: If Robin got that big a
deal, can they open their pocketbooks for everybody? The show’s been a success
as an ensemble, but now every part of that ensemble wants to get paid.”