$15M Anchor Asks if A-Rod's Worth $28 Million
In her â60 Minutesâ interview with New York Yankees star Alex Rodriguez Sunday, Katie Couric asked the third baseman about steroids in baseball, the home run record he is poised to break eventually, and his own upstaging of the 2007 World Series. But most surprising were Couricâs questions about A-Rodâs record-setting salary.
âYour new contract is worth $300 million-plus,â Couric told Rodriquez, asking, âAre you worth it? Is any player worth that kind of salary?â
The Yankees announced this month that they had resigned Rodriguez in a deal ESPN estimated to be worth $275 million over 10 years, with another $30 million in incentives to reach milestones such as breaking the home run record set this year by Barry Bonds.
A-Rod could have pointed out that Major League Baseball works like any other market â playersâ services are priced according to what the market will pay for their skills and experience. Someone in the Yankees organization felt $275 million over 10 years was a fair price to pay for Rodriguez. But he brushed the question aside, noting that âitâs not my job to evaluate or appraise players. I love to play baseball.â
Rodriguez could have pointed out heâs a two-time Gold Glove winner, a two-time Silver Slugger winner, and a three-time American League Most Valuable Player. He also could have mentioned that last season he led the American League in runs, home runs and runs batted in â 143, 54 and 156 respectively.
A-Rod could have pointed to a number of stats that suggest heâs âworth it.â He also could have asked Couric if sheâs worth the $15 million salary paid to her by CBS to anchor the âCBS Evening Newsâ and make special appearances like Sundayâs â60 Minutesâ segment.
With Couric as its anchor, the âEvening Newsâ has looked more and more like a sinking ship. Since she took over in September 2006, the showâs ratings have taken a dive. The week of Dec. 3, 2007, the third-place âEvening Newsâ drew 6.55 million viewers, down more than 1 million since September 2006, when it was second behind NBC.
As the Business & Media Institute has previously noted, Couricâs salary at CBS is $15 million per year â short of A-Rodâs average of $27.5 million per year, but still nothing to scoff at. And at least A-Rodâs performing, if only in the regular season.
TV writers have honed in on Couricâs failings at CBS. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported in April 2007 that CBS was looking to can Couric, describing her as âan expensive, unfixable mistake.â CBS executives denied the report, according to Gail Shister, the Inquirer columnist who wrote about the rumors.