Corporate Media Seeks To Drastically Reduce Salaries For TV Personalities

Mainstream media companies continue to suffer as more Americans turn to the internet and streaming. Now they look to recoup their losses from some of the largest expenditures they face — prominent TV personalities.

Long-term multi-million dollar contracts may currently be the rule, but executives want to transform them into the industry exceptions. 

At one time these outlays were necessary to secure top-tier talent. But the draw of that talent across the spectrum of networks is waning, and companies look to rid themselves of hefty outlays with diminishing returns.

For example, The Ankler reported MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow rakes in a staggering $30 million per year. Not far behind is Fox News’ Sean Hannity with an estimated $25 million and CNN’s Anderson Cooper with $20 to $25 million.

The simple truth is that more Americans are cutting the cord and seeking alternative — and more trustworthy — sources of information. According to Mediaite, less than half of U.S. households currently pay for a traditional TV subscription.

Journalists from other countries are shocked at the pay scales enjoyed by American TV personalities. Even hosts with such global presences as the BBC have much lower salaries.

Traditional cable networks may have crossed the breaking point last July. That was when broadcast and cable programmers dipped to 20% and 29.6% of total viewership, respectively.

This combined for only 49.6%, meaning streaming services now constituted the majority. And with the major players, including Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video continuing to post increases, that trend is not likely to reverse. 

So, what does this mean for major TV personalities? That mega-contract of yesteryear is likely to remain in the past as revenue streams continue to shrink and viewership plummets.

The marketplace of ideas is constantly expanding, and people do not have to turn to sources they no longer trust. 

This opens up the market for fresh voices streaming through new platforms, and that means the revenue to pay such voices will follow. Whether those deals will measure up to some currently enjoyed by media hosts is unclear.

Also at issue is the sheer volume of streaming services. This will further dilute the salaries of mouthpieces who previously enjoyed a monopoly and were free to spin the news to a captive audience. 

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