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Vanna White Retains Tucker Carlson’s Lawyer to Negotiate First Pay Raise in 18 Years

By Emma Chance | TV | June 29, 2023 |

By Emma Chance | TV | June 29, 2023 |


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Vanna White, co-host and card-turner of Wheel of Fortune since 1982, hasn’t received a raise in pay since 2005. According to Puck, her annual salary has been $3 million for 18 years, compared to Pat Sajak’s $15 million.

White is currently in negotiations to continue her contract on the show beyond the end of the 2024 season and Sajak’s departure, and she has hired attorney Bryan Freedman, who represented Tucker Carlson and Chris Cuomo, to investigate possible gender discrimination in the pay discrepancy between the two hosts.

While I’m not here to argue against fair pay and believe White should receive a raise if she stays on the show, the question at hand is this: how much is hosting a show like the Wheel really worth?

White’s role has evolved over the years. What started as flipping cards to reveal a letter has turned into touching a screen. She began as the lovely lady assistant, silently standing on her perch in the corner until called upon, but has since become a more vocal face of the show. She’s such an icon that she once appeared as the muse for a challenge on Ru Paul’s Drag Race (the ultimate barometer for icon status as far as I’m concerned). Sony Studios has stayed mum on this, but “research reveals that White’s appeal to women drives the show’s older, female audience.”

But $3 million a year for that? $15 million for what Sajak does, which is essentially what White does but with more talking and less panache?

What television and entertainment personalities deserve to be paid is of course a much larger issue that I cannot begin to tackle here. But seeing a number like $3 million for cohosting a game show while TV writers are still on strike, rings a tad out of tune.