Has Erin Burnett “Contract Negotiated” Her Way Out Mornings?
Erin Burnett made her morning-show debut yesterday on CNN with Chris Cuomo for Pope Benedict XVI’s last day on the job. But it doesn’t mean she’s going to end up there permanently, sources tell The Post’s Michael Shain. It seems Burnett is digging in her high heels and refusing the new morning assignment. She has a clause in her contract that requires CNN to air her show in prime time. If new boss Jeff Zucker wants her to get up at 4 a.m., Erin is demanding a sizable chunk of cash — more than her $2.5 million salary — to buy her out of the prime-time clause. Insiders say Zucker believes she should be grateful she’s being offered a marquee job and he has started to look elsewhere for an anchor to partner with Cuomo. Burnett is telling her staff she doesn’t want to go to the morning. “What she means is she doesn’t want to go at the old price,” sniffed a source.
Oh boy. Burnett is in trouble whether she knows it or not. That this is leaking out is a sign that someone wants it known that Burnett isn’t on board with the Zucker program. She’s on the Burnett program apparently. She should be grateful. Her early prime show hasn’t been tearing it up in the ratings. Going to mornings would mean a clean start and a new lease on life. That much should be obvious.