CBS News anchor Gayle King is reportedly negotiating an annual salary that is double what she currently earns to remain with This Morning on CBS. But the deal is taking much longer than anticipated, news reports say.
King, 64, currently makes about $5.5 million a year, according to Complex. Since last month, she has been in close talks with CBS execs to double that figure, however Page Six reports that some staff members fear the lengthy talks, which were supposed to conclude in early April, are indicative that the network could be struggling to figure out how to afford to keep her.
According to a source who spoke with Page Six, “it’s not like CBS News can all of a sudden find ABC or NBC money—it has to come from somewhere.” The source added that Susan Zirinsky, CBS News’ new president, has more money to work with, but even with that, “there’s not that much.”
Even still, if executives want King bad enough, they will find a way, some say.
“The big priority is keeping Gayle. The only thing that would really hurt CBS News at the moment is losing her,” another source told the newspaper.
King is in high demand after landing the first high-profile interview with embattled singer, R. Kelly. She was noted for how she remained calm during their exchange while Kelly stood and ranted causing his publicist to step in and intervene.
The interview went viral and many memes were made from Kelly’s expressions and shared across social media. Even still, Kelly’s team was pleased, King told Page Six. “I think he is open to another sit-down at a later date,” King informed Page Six last week.
For her part, King is keeping silent about where the contract negotiations stand.
“I never ever discuss contracts in the media,” King has previously said, according to Complex Magazine.. “I think the best place to discuss a contract is with CBS.”