Vanna White, the beloved game show icon, has recently negotiated a pay raise for her role on Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, according to a new report.
While she remains in talks to continue on the show after Pat Sajak’s departure, her pay for the regular Wheel of Fortune show is still undetermined.
The negotiated deal pertains specifically to her involvement in Celebrity Wheel of Fortune, a 13-episode spinoff featuring 27 celebrities.
The agreement, reportedly reached through her attorney Bryan Freedman, known for representing high-profile figures such as Tucker Carlson and Megyn Kelly, is said to be worth $100,000 per episode.
This amount is considerably lower than the reported $400,000 salary Sajak, aged 76, earned during the show’s first season.
For White, this deal represents a significant increase from her previous contract, as she had reportedly not received a raise in 18 years.
However, the discussions surrounding her payment for the main Wheel of Fortune show, which she helped popularize since its debut in 1982, have hit a roadblock.
Currently earning $3 million, just a fifth of Sajak’s salary, White has requested 50 percent of Sajak’s $15 million annual earnings. Negotiations concerning this matter and her potential cut from the $400,000 weekly salary for Celebrity Wheel of Fortune are still ongoing.
Despite settling on the $100,000 per episode deal for the spinoff, discussions about White’s continued role on the original game show remain unresolved.
Sajak is set to retire at the end of the upcoming season, with Ryan Seacrest slated to take over the hosting duties, earning a staggering $28 million per year.
White, who had occasionally taken on the role of presenter in 2019 after being a fixture on the show’s board for decades, feels slighted by the situation, sources revealed earlier.
Seeking increased compensation, she enlisted the help of Freedman, but the negotiations have been temporarily halted due to the ongoing writers’ strike.
Efforts to evaluate the importance of both Sajak and White’s roles on the show through a third-party mediator were also rejected by Sony, the studio behind Wheel of Fortune.
It appears that the studio believes Sajak’s pay had already reached an excessive level by the end of his 48-year tenure, making the $15 million benchmark irrelevant to the ongoing talks.
While Sajak’s retirement announcement and Seacrest’s quick replacement were unfolding, White received a less enthusiastic response, leading her to believe that the show’s producers considered her “replaceable” and lacked respect for her. The situation has left her “disappointed” in the decision-making process.
As the negotiations continue, sources close to White have warned that things could turn “ugly” if Sony doesn’t take her role seriously.
Her lawyer Freedman, renowned for resolving conflicts between talents and networks, is firmly advocating for increased compensation on her behalf.
Meanwhile, as for “Jeopardy!” – another popular game show – it is currently in its 39th season and is scheduled to conclude at the end of July 2023.
However, no date has been set for the upcoming season.