Katie Couric Took a One Million Dollar Pay Cut to Save Other People's Jobs

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

Katie Couric was at CBS from 2006-2011, where she hosted the CBS Evening News. While she was there, she apparently saved a lot of people from pink slips by forgoing some of her own huge pay check.

In the new book Powerhouse: The Untold Story of Hollywood’s Creative Artists Agency by agent Alan Berger, there’s a story about how Couric voluntarily took a one million dollar pay cut to save staff from budget-related firings. Page Six quotes the anecdote:

“...In the third year of Katie’s tenure . . . upcoming budget cuts would involve significant layoffs . . . from senior-level producers to young associate producers — all key contributors to the production of the daily newscast.”

He adds that after Couric met with Sean McManus, CBS News president at the time, “Katie decided . . . to take matters into her own hands” and “voluntarily, and quietly, agreed to cut her CBS salary by over $1 million, creating a savings to preserve the jobs of her associates on the broadcast.”


The conditions of her pay cut included that the money would go directly to staff to prevent terminations, and that it would not be widely publicized with no “public or private acknowledgment.” Couric made $15 million a year at the time, so perhaps one million didn’t mean as much to her as having a full and competent staff.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin

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well fuck thee gently with a chainsaw

This is the kind of heroism that literally every single American CEO should be capable of:

Your team is in trouble, so you willingly take a $1 million pay cut to make sure your employees don’t lose their jobs, then walk away with $15 million that year - making you an objectively stinkingly rich person.

And yet, executive compensation soars at companies that men run into the ground, and worker bees remain the first to get fired.

Respect to Couric. You put the boys running the banks/car companies/software giants to shame.