A Coup Against Katie Couric?

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Layoffs have been so drastic at CBS news lately that surviving employees are looking towards anchor Katie Couric's $14-million-plus annual salary and asking, "Why?"

It's a well known fact that Couric's salary goes beyond $300,000 per week. "And that's not all," a laid-off CBS news employee told AOL. "She also gets bumps for appearances she makes outside of the evening news, and she does a lot of those. A few of those fees would have easily fed my family for a year." Couric's current contract expires next year, but outraged sources at The Drudge Report seem to suggest she might want to rethink her compensation prior to that.

Meanwhile, it's been a virtual bloodbath in CBS newsrooms across the country, with layoffs particularly heavy in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Washington, DC. You won't be seeing correspondent Daniel Sieberg reporting on technology any more. And several top producers from CBS's venerable Dan Rather days are gone as well, according to the New York Observer.

Other producers and talent are receiving perceived demotions, being reassigned from prominent network positions to CBS Newspath, the network's entity that supplies stories to local CBS affiliates. These high paid employees, whose work used to be seen nationwide on CBS news broadcasts, now may or may not have their stories aired in local markets, depending if CBS affiliates, say, in Salt Lake City, decide to run the national stories once their local beats are covered.

"I know times are tough all over and everyone has to tighten their belts," said the recently laid-off CBS newser. "But they've already slashed newsroom staffs to the bare bones, and each person left has had to do the work of at least three people. Since they're cutting so many of the ones with the highest salaries, why not look at the top? Don't tell me Katie, or anyone else, can't live on, say, $10 million per year. If she's so invested in the welfare of the nation, she should volunteer for the cut."

However, Sean McManus, president of CBS News & Sports, discredits the rumors that Couric may be cut stating, "CBS News takes pride in excellence and it's impossible to overestimate the quality of Katie's work."

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