When the news hit the media that Sarah Palin wasn’t renewing her contract with Fox News, one could almost hear the thump as her career hit the dirt. So far, there are conflicting reasons as to why she is leaving Fox. I’m sure we can expect slow leaks, just enough to keep her name just where she likes it: in the headlines. One shocking thing we have found out though, is how much she made while employed at Fox.
The former Vice Presidential candidate and 1/2 term Alaskan Governor once had a star that shone so bright, that the Fox News boss, Roger Ailes, hired her for being “hot” (and getting ratings). In 2010, when Palin was hired, it was almost a foregone conclusion that she would run for President in 2012. However, after a narcissistic response to the 2011 shooting in Tucson that left six dead and 12, including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) injured, her popularity began to wane. Only her most ardent fans still thought she was capable of winning the presidency.
The Fox News contract, which was signed during the height of her popularity, earned her a reported $1 million a year. Some analysts at Smart Politics earned their salaries by recording every single word Palin uttered on Fox News, whether it was in the studio, over the telephone, by satellite or taped. All in all, they found that during her three-year contract, which began January, 2010, the network aired 189,221 words. For each of those words, they calculated, she made a whopping $15.85. To put that in a bit of perspective, writers typically get paid by the word. Most are lucky to be paid $1.00 per edited, published word. Most writers are also able to communicate their messages with about (oh, I don’t know) a quarter or fewer of the words that fall out of Palin’s loquacious head.
Palin exchanged more words with Sean Hannity than any other Fox personality. In second place–even though she was on both shows about equal amounts of time–were Palin’s chats with On the Record host, Greta Van Susteren. She mostly avoided the harder interviewers like Chris Wallace and Bill O’Reilly.
Surprisingly, she dropped her trademark “you betcha” after uttering it just twice. “Right on” got five mentions. Her favorite topic of conversation? Barack Obama.
Did Fox make a wise investment? She was the highest-paid contributor on the network and she was hardly the ratings bonanza management was expecting. Rumors are that she became too polarizing, which is possible (given that they ended their relationship with Glenn Beck for that reason), but I would betcha (wink, wink) that if she had made the network more money, she would still be with them, regardless of how polarizing she is or who actually walked away from the table.
I leave you with a Sarah Palin word salad, at $15.85 per ingredient.
|Wendy Gittleson is a seasoned writer, a dog lover and an avid political junkie. She is the Senior Editor for Addicting Info. In her rare down times, you’ll find her somewhere in the mountains or near the beach. Follow her on her Facebook page or on Twitter, @wendygittleson|