Report: Jeff Zucker Offered Rachel Maddow $20 Million Annually to Become the Face of CNN+

By A.J. Katz 

A report surfaced on Thursday saying that CNN’s Jeff Zucker recently offered MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow around $20 million a year to anchor the soon-to-launch CNN+ streaming service. The news was reported by Puck News’ Matt Beloni, citing a source.

CNN’s attempt to lure Maddow apparently caused NBCUniversal “to scramble to promise her more money and less work to stay put, which she did,” Beloni writes in his What I’m Hearing… newsletter

Networks consistently call representation for talent from other rival networks, usually just to “check in” on them. But this comes across as more serious, to the point where an actual offer was made. Maddow’s new contract with NBCU (announced in August) reportedly puts her at around $30 million per year, through the 2024 election.


CNN confirmed to Beloni that Zucker tried to get Maddow specifically for CNN+ but the network did not confirm the $20 million a year figure.

Needless to say, going after someone like Maddow to be the face of a brand new streaming service would be a no-brainer, but it appears that isn’t going to be happening; at least not anytime soon.