Vanna White is only asking for half of what Pat Sajak makes on ‘Wheel of Fortune’

Last week, Puck broke the news about Vanna White attempting to renegotiate her salary on Wheel of Fortune. That news came out before Ryan Seacrest was named as Pat Sajak’s replacement on WoF, and I can only imagine what kind of money Sony Entertainment is throwing at Seacrest to take over. As it turns out, Vanna White hasn’t had a par raise in 18 years – she’s been making $3 million a year since 2005, and she’s only pointing that out now, in the year of our lord Beyonce 2023. As I argued, Vanna has a higher Q score than Pat Sajak, and I would think that she’s much more popular than Ryan Seacrest. Vanna is practically an American institution, an unproblematic fave in a sea of television’s worst monsters. But Sajak’s exit combined with Seacrest’s hiring has got me worried… worried that Sony won’t give Vanna a raise, worried that they’ll find a way to push out Vanna. Well, she’s not going quietly:

Vanna White has got Sony spinning these days because she won’t continue on “Wheel of Fortune” unless she makes at least half of what Pat Sajak has been making … sources tell TMZ. Sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations say Vanna is clear — she’s the cohost of the long-running show, so the pay disparity between her and Pat needs to be squarely addressed. Point of fact … they’re introduced this way on ‘Wheel’ — “Here are the stars of our show, Pat Sajak and Vanna White.”

So they’re introduced as equals, but their salaries are anything but. We’ve confirmed Vanna’s salary — $3 million a year. And get this — we’ve confirmed that’s what she’s made for the last 18 YEARS. She has not gotten a single pay increase in all that time.

Pat reportedly makes around $15 million a year. Vanna isn’t asking for that, but we’re told her lawyer, Bryan Freedman, is demanding half the amount Pat makes. One source connected to Vanna put it this way … “After 41 years as a model employee and more the face of that show than him [Pat], asking for 50% of what he makes seems like a no-brainer.”

Sony, we’re told, is not on board, at least not yet. One source with direct knowledge described the negotiations as “very difficult.” Our sources also say Vanna feels like the issue is bigger than her. As one source says, “She feels like it’s a statement for all women.”

We’re told Vanna wants to stay on the show, but if she doesn’t get what she believes is “a minimum of what is fair,” that’s a real possibility.

Sony may be in a tough spot here because Vanna provides continuity when Ryan Seacrest takes over for Pat a year from September. It’s pretty clear … they don’t want to lose Pat and Vanna at the same time.

[From TMZ]

Like… what are Sony executives thinking? Sony also owns Jeopardy, and Sony completely mishandled every part of hiring a new Jeopardy host, to the point where it was a months-long debacle. Sony should be BEGGING Vanna to stay, they should be throwing money at her and acquiescing to her every request/demand, lest they find themselves in yet another PR disaster. Think of how it will look if they play hardball with Vanna White and she ends up walking away. Think of how it will look if they outright fire her for asking for a pay raise after 18 years! She would sue their asses. And what’s crazy is that in the scope of pay grades for American television, Vanna isn’t even asking for that much!! She’s only asking for half of Sajak was making – so she’d like to make about $7.5 million a year? PAY HER.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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19 Responses to “Vanna White is only asking for half of what Pat Sajak makes on ‘Wheel of Fortune’”

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  1. HeyKay says:

    Vanna is in a tricky spot.
    For this last year with Pat, she likely will get a good sized raise.
    Then they will both be retired and Seacrest the dull will revamp with his own version.

  2. og bella says:

    I am betting that once Ryan is on board, Pat’s daughter will replace Vanna

    • Ms single malt says:

      Oh sweet mercy. Not a huge Ryan Seacrest fan. I can’t imagine watching if Ryan takes over with Pat Sajaks nepo daughter replacing Vanna.

      • og bella says:

        I have no reason why I should think this, but it came to me the other day when it was on in the background and I noticed Pat’s daughter was still doing stuff with the show

  3. Mslove says:

    Vanna should be hosting wheel, not Ryan Seacrest. I’m mad about that. What are they thinking? They don’t need a letter turner anymore, just let Vanna host. Quit shoving Ryan Seacrest down our throats, he sux.

  4. slippers4life says:

    Vanna White needs to be paid, ffs! Don’t make this an issue you fools. She generated viewership and all the money lining their pockets from the ratings. They better be in their offices signing the cheque right now, or it better be an ErIn Brockovich situation where they are thinking she deserves more than what she is asking for so they are increasing it or I’m out!

  5. molly says:

    I’d argue that most of Pat’s appeal WAS Vanna. Pay that woman!

    • Interested Gawker says:

      She IS the show, she predates even Pat. Her presence smooths over when Pat got too sarcastic and made his legitimately funny side shine more.

      It’s amazing how out to lunch Sony is! There shouldn’t be an issue over this! Sony better have her money!

  6. tealily says:

    Pay her.

  7. SquiddusMaximus says:

    Dear Pat Sajak, you half-drunk turd: Why haven’t you been advocating for Vanna THIS ENTIRE TIME. YOU had the leverage, and clearly she was enough of an equal for you to get trashed on margaritas together before each taping, so why was it OK for you to just keep collecting the cash without her? Best wishes, ASquid

  8. Zantasia says:

    As a child I used to call the show “Vanna White.” How dare they not compensate her properly.

  9. lucy2 says:

    I still can’t believe that neither she nor her agents got even the smallest COL increase in EIGHTEEN YEARS. I hope she fired whoever on her team let that happen.
    Sony would be stupid to not pay her – she’s not going to be on there another 40 years, they could do some nice payment for a few and then she’ll retire.
    They’re also foolish for hiring Ryan Seacrest, who no one really enjoys.

  10. Nicegirl says:


    • Lizzie Bennett says:

      Vanna is WoF. She’s synonymous with the show. I think she should get exactly what Pat was getting if not more and her asking for less is just her being nice.

  11. anniefannie says:

    I sensed some weird energy when Sajak’s daughter was being introd on the show like she was being groomed to be Vanna’s replacement! The nepo entitlement was strong with her. It was so awkward that I’m guessing that she might be being used as an anvil over Vanna’s neck. Sony is obviously ruthless and I hope it backfires!

  12. lisa says:

    only 1 of these people had a Drag Race run way in their honor and that is the only one they need #letvannahost

  13. Kimber says:

    Very much on the PAY Vanna train. However, she cannot host. She tried to host a few shows when Pat had a sudden illness. Oh wow. It was so cringe. I was shocked at how bad it went. She’s been on the show watching him host for decades- . Eek

  14. Shoshone says:

    What are the Sony executives thinking? They are thinking about replacing Vanna with a girl in her 20’s. In Japanese society (which definitely includes their entertainment and media) women are considered by many men to be ‘over the hill’ as soon as they hit their early 30’s. The obvious sexual focus on teen aged girls there can be pretty disturbing. And yet, this is a culture where businessmen still pay exorbitant sums to be entertained ( singing, dancing, witty conversation) by a 50 year old geisha or geiko.

    I don’t think the Sony executives truly understand Vanna’s value. The audience that watches WoF is older and they love her and they want her to remain on the show. I know that if she is replaced WoF is certainly dead to me.