Kathy Griffin Reveals What She Was Paid for CNN’s ‘New Year’s Eve Live’ (and Who CNN Cut as a Possible Host)

Kathy Griffin | Kathy Griffin Instagram

The glass ceiling appears to be cracking in some areas like morning talk shows and even in Congress. But when it comes to hosting CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper, the network is sticking to its guns.

The bromance between CNN’s Cooper and Bravo’s executive producer Andy Cohen definitely works for New Year’s Eve. But former New Year’s Eve Live co-host, comedian Kathy Griffin shares some insider intel about this year’s show on Twitter. Griffin was fired from the gig in 2017 after she recorded a video holding a Donald Trump mask covered in fake blood. Although Griffin apologized for the stunt the damage was done and Cohen stepped in as her New Year’s Eve replacement.

On New Year’s Eve morning, Griffin took to Twitter and spilled the tea about who possibly was in line to become Cooper’s new co-host and how much she made for her New Year’s Eve appearance on CNN. She also shares her resolutions for 2019.

This is who CNN allegedly hired (momentarily)

Griffin says she heard from a few different people a hosting rumor. “The hilarious @Lesdoggg (Leslie Jones) was in talks to co-host CNN’s New Year’s telecast with Anderson Cooper this year,” Griffin wrote. “I was elated when I heard this news. If I can’t get the gig, I will cheer for Leslie.”

She thought to have a funny woman of color over age 50 was a smart move. “I love all of Leslie’s work, but this little short tape she posted on her 50th birthday last year says it all about her. How can you not love @lesdoggg?!”

But was then dropped

But then Griffin says Jones was iced out of the hosting position. “As I started asking around to find out when CNN was going to announce Leslie as co-host, I heard that they had downgraded her to a couple of segments or some sort of a guest role.”

Griffin says this is why was there was an issue. “Soon after, I heard from a couple folks she had been dropped from the show entirely because NBC Universal did not want her to appear on a different network. This didn’t pass the smell test with me. The #JeffZucker I knew for years could make this happen. What say you, Jeff?”

She continues by saying that the NBC Universal reason doesn’t add up. “You have to admit, it didn’t make sense that NBC Uni wouldn’t have a problem with Andy Cohen, who also works for NBC Uni, appearing on CNN, but would have a problem with Leslie? Since Leslie didn’t work out, CNN couldn’t find one woman standup comic star to co-host? Jeff?”

Which means Jones won’t earn the big bucks

Griffin wrote that Jones will miss out on the big New Year’s Eve hosting paycheck. “Anything less than co-hosting screams to me very little or no pay, and a lack of respect for someone who is such a proven talent, has a big fan base, and knows what she’s doing. She has paid her dues and then some!”

Then Griffin spills what she was paid for the one-night gig. “I worked my way up by the 10th year at CNN to get a fee of $150,000. By the way, just as a point of reference, Anderson Cooper regularly bragged for years that his annual CNN contract was $10 million a year.”

And adds, “I didn’t hear anything about what Leslie‘s fee will be on NBC, but I really hope it is AT LEAST $150,000 because that is a nice paycheck and it’s what she deserves.”

Griffin didn’t ask about New Year’s Eve money until later

She asserts Jones deserves to be recognized for her work. “I know $150,000 is a hell of lot of money for one night of work (although when I was doing it, I certainly put in more than one night of work) but trust me Leslie has paid her dues and when you are a female comic starting out you do gigs for free sometimes for years.”

Plus she admits to not discussing money until later. And was shocked when this happened. “The first two years I appeared on CNN, it didn’t even occur to me to ask for a salary. The 8th year when I asked Jeff Zucker for a raise, he was so angry he docked me 30%. I’m sorry to say I took the pay cut because I truly enjoyed making you all laugh.”

But Jones will be part of New Year’s Eve

Jones fans will still get their fix, Griffin wrote. “I’m thrilled she is going to appear in the NBC New Years telecast with Carson Daly/Chrissy Teigen, but it’s time for Leslie to co-host/host. That would be progress…it would have been a step in the right direction for all women if she got the CNN gig.”

And Griffin has this hope for Jones. “I really hope @Lesdoggg has been paid fairly for New Years…but I’m not optimistic. The boys get paid much, much more in the comedy industry and that is a fact I know a lot about.”

These are Griffin’s New Year’s Resolutions

She admits that she used to joke about not believing in resolutions when she did New Year’s Eve Live. But has since changed her mind:

  • Resolution #1: Try to make as many people laugh, giggle, gasp in shock, throw their head back and have a belly laugh for as long as possible!
  • Resolution #2: I have learned it is essential to stick up for others in ways I truly wish others would have stuck up for me. I have done that more than ever in the past year and will continue to do it no matter what.
  • Resolution #3: I will stay positive, be as brave as I can in my comedy, never quit, and never let the old boys club keep me silent or out of work.

She finished her thread by sending fans love. Plus, “I may not be able to have a drink with you, but I have served up a pot of piping hot tea!”

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