ABC Frets Whether a $105 Million Contract for Stephanopoulos Was Worth It

Posted by on May 19, 2015 at 7:34 am

Here all this time you thought Brian Williams was the most overpaid blow-dried hack on television. Remarkably ABC News has given Clinton stooge George Stephanopoulos a contract in excess of $100 million. Just imagine if he had any discernible talent.

You can pick you chin up off the floor now.

ABC has plenty of reasons to be freaking out over the George Stephanopoulos scandal — $105 million, to be exact.

The “Good Morning America” and “This Week” anchor renewed his contract last year for $105 million, TV-industry sources told The Post Monday.

The seven-year deal — which dwarfs the five-year, $50 million contract scored by since-suspended NBC rival Brian Williams — was supposed to keep Stephanopoulos in front of ABC’s cameras through 2021.

But now his credibility, and future, have been called into question since he admitted Friday that he had donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation since 2011, just as the presidential race gears up with Hillary Rodham Clinton the leading Democrats.

In a mea culpa delivered Sunday on “This Week,” Stephanopoulos, who was also a top aide in Bill Clinton’s White House, said the gifts “were a matter of public record, but I should have made additional disclosures on air when we covered the foundation.”

It was his second on-air apology in less than a week.

Sources have said ABC News execs were blindsided by Stephanopoulos’ largesse, and one TV insider noted Monday that “ABC really has all their money on Stephanopoulos.”

“ABC was desperate to lock him down after Josh Elliott left,” the source said.

Because Josh Elliot, who most people couldn’t pick out of a lineup, is such a major talent. Sheesh.

“But network execs didn’t announce the figure because they didn’t want George to get the kind of backlash that Matt Lauer got over his huge NBC contract,” which pays him $20 million a year to host the “Today” show.

Commence with the backlash, folks. Meanwhile, Democrats who typically rail against high-salaried CEOs could care less since he’s one of theirs.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is Hillary Clinton’s only declared primary opponent, told CNN that Stephanopoulos “should have made [his donations] public,” but added that the scandal wasn’t “the biggest deal in the world.”

A spokeswoman for former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who is flirting with a presidential run, said, “We’ve always found him to be fair.”

Of course he’s fair: He’s on your team.

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