Katie Couric's 'CBS News' Contract Renegotiations May Lead to Pay Cut

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Weak ratings and a changing of the guard at the nightly program may affect the anchor's eight-figure annual salary.

UPDATED: Katie Couric's contract with CBS expires at the end of May, and her eight-figure annual salary may end then too, forcing the network news anchor to make some tough choices.

Although CBS News With Katie Couric picked up four Emmys and a DuPont Award last year, the program is ranked a distant third in its time slot, behind Brian Williams' Nightly News on NBC and World News With Diane Sawyer on ABC. The rating rut seems to indicate that her eight-figure annual salary won't continue, reports the Associated Press.

Barring a contract extension with CBS, the anchor's other options seem to be the syndicated talk show circuit, which she has previously mentioned as a future consideration, or a jump to cable or even the Web.

"If everyone is smart, she'll stay right where she is for less money," recently departed ABC News president David Westin told the AP. "Whatever somebody says about it, this is a prestigious platform. After an initial rocky start, it's a solid news program."

Couric will tackle the issue with CBS in the next couple of weeks.