Networks Cut Off Appearance Fees for On-Camera Contributors

By Andrew Gauthier 

Broadcasting & Cable

There was a time, not long ago, when on-air contributors with expertise on a particular topic would command lucrative contracts from networks, sometimes earning as much as $5,000 for one appearance on a network morning show. But the financial contraction has choked off many of these deals. Now, networks pony up very little or, in most cases, nothing at all for talking heads.

“It’s a legitimate sign of the times,” says Hayden Meyer, who runs the alternative television department at APA.


And in today’s cacophonous media universe, where airtime on a national program like NBC’s “Today” or ABC’s “Good Morning America” is like oxygen for would-be contributors working to build their brand and launch a media career, they do it for free. More…