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Diane Sawyer -- Slave to Big Bucks

6/12/2006 4:42 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

From TMZ's H-Wood Blog:

There's a really interesting article in the current issue of New York magazine.  It's all about how Charlie Gibson aced Diane Sawyer out of the 'World News Tonight' anchor job.

The author writes about Sawyer's indecisiveness -- that while she was pondering what to do, Charlie was threatening to leave when his deal was up in around a year.   And the article describes how distressing it is for Sawyer that Katie Couric now has a place in history as the first female solo evening news anchor.

So why is it that Sawyer lost out?

The article suggests Sawyer is agitated and "has agreed to stay on GMA through 2007, prompting speculation that she may depart soon after." 

We'll I'm hearing that Sawyer may not have had a choice.  My ABC spies say Sawyer feels trapped and indeed she is --  I'm told she signed a deal that locks her in for more than two years -- one spy says as long as three.  By signing a long- term contract, Sawyer in effect took herself out of the running for the CBS job because execs over there didn't want to wait that long to fill the anchor chair.  Couric, on the other hand, was available at just the right time.  And when it came time to fill the ABC job, execs knew that Sawyer couldn't leave but Gibson was a short-timer who had to be dealt with.

So what was in it for Diane to make sign a long deal that cut her out of the action?  I'm told she's making Couric money -- around $15 mil.  The question -- does Diane now feel like she sold herself short by jumping at a big payday?  It's something she will certainly ponder, because in many ways Sawyer is trapped with few broadcasting options beyond her morning job. 

6 COMMENTS

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1.

stan    

Well the evening news isn't what is use to be! SHe is better off at GMA. Besides Charles Gibson is in his 60's and has HEART PROBLEMS. I'm sure he will only be there for no more than 4 years, or until his contract is up.

3021 days ago
2.

irene forbes    

Brian, Charlie, Katie..who cares?

Who watches the 6:30 news anymore? It's passe'

By 6:30 p.m. anything they have to say is OLD news anyway.

3020 days ago
3.

DeeBee    

I mean really... does anyone really watch the news on TV anymore? Seems to me like you can get faster and more up to date news on the internet and without the mindless banter and commercials

3020 days ago
4.

tom fleming    

Sawyer got a place in broadcast history anyway when she became the first female correspondent on 60 minutes in 1984. Back then broadcast news was huge ratings with 35 million viewers for the sunday program and miss Couric was a unknown rookie on CNN. Couric goes to the third rated news broadcast because she was passed over by NBC for the top rated Nightly News: while substituting for Brokaw in August 2001 she tanked the show in the ratings.

3008 days ago

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