Exciting News: Ryan Seacrest Chosen as New Host of “Wheel of Fortune”
“Wheel of Fortune” has chosen a new host – “American Idol” alum Ryan Seacrest, according to a Tuesday statement from Sony – but outgoing host Pat Sajak’s longtime letter-turner Vanna White, 66, may or may not be ready to join him.
Will Vanna White Continue?
According to a report from Puck News, White, 66, hired an attorney last week amid claims that she had not had a pay raise in nearly two decades. The report claimed that White, who has been turning the iconic letters since 1982, has been stalled at $3 million per year for the last 18 years – occasionally receiving bonuses rather than pay raises. Sajak, in contrast, pulled in $15 million annually for hosting the show – according to a Forbes report published in 2016.
White hired attorney Bryan Freedman, known for his aggressive representation of television personalities against their respective networks. Freedman made headlines recently when he was reportedly hired to represent ousted cable news hosts Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon against Fox News and CNN, respectively.
White’s contract is up at the end of the 2023-2024 season, and Freedman is expected to “hit the pay discrepancy issue hard … as well as possible gender discrimination with respect to White’s salary” if Sony Pictures wants to keep her on the show.
White has not yet commented on Seacrest’s announcement, but the the former “Live with Kelly and Ryan” host made it clear that he was looking forward to the new gig.
“I’m truly humbled to be stepping into the footsteps of the legendary Pat Sajak. I can say, along with the rest of America, that it’s been a privilege and pure joy to watch Pat and Vanna on our television screens for an unprecedented 40 years, making us smile every night and feel right at home with them,” Seacrest said in a statement.
“Pat, I love the way you’ve always celebrated the contestants and made viewers at home feel at ease. I look forward to learning everything I can from you during this transition,” he added. “I can’t wait to continue the tradition of spinning the wheel and working alongside the great Vanna White.”
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