George Stephanopolous has signed a new four-year deal with ABC News, Page Six has exclusively learned.
Sources say that the broadcasting veteran — who’s been with the network since 2002 and anchors both “Good Morning America” and Sunday show “This Week” — was heavily courted by both CBS and CNN as the end of his last contract approached. CNN declined to comment.
But in the end, he stayed put, signing a deal with ABC worth somewhere between $15 million and $18 million per year. His previous, five-year contract was worth $15 million a year.
We’re told that in an effort to entice him to CBS News, execs offered Stephanopolus Jeff Glor’s anchor chair on “CBS Evening News” — often considered to be the most prestigious role in TV news — and a plum gig on “60 Minutes.”
Glor’s only been in the job for a year, but as Page Six has previously reported, network execs have been considering replacing him for months amid sinking ratings and newsroom strife. At the time CBS denied that Glor’s job was in jeopardy.
Sources familiar with the situation say Stephanopolus — who has had a major hand in the resurgence of “Good Morning America” in its battle with NBC’s “Today” — seriously considered the CBS offer, especially after Susan Zirinsky was named at the new CBS News president in January.
“He’s known Susan for 30-plus years,” said an insider, “That made it even more real.”
Insiders say that CBS — which has recently undergone a series of scandals and reshuffles of top personnel — would have been unlikely to be able to offer Stephanopolus as much money as ABC but that the upheavals mean that the network is something of a blank slate. “CBS could have been a great platform for him,” we’re told.
Sources say that eventually Stephanopolus decided to stay because “ABC has been his home for 20 something years,” although it didn’t hurt that, as a source put it, “ABC offered him a s–t-ton of money.”
Stephanopolous has had a big year, landing blockbuster interviews with former FBI James Comey, former Donald Trump fixer Michael Cohen, and the president himself.
We’re told negotiations took around two weeks and that the newsman was repped by CAA.
His responsibilities at ABC News will remain essentially the same, appearing on “GMA,” “This Week,” and handling special projects for the news division.
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