Vanna White ‘Lawyers Up’ as Ryan Seacrest is Named New ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Host


In an announcement on Tuesday, Ryan Seacrest, aged 48, was revealed as the successor to Pat Sajak on the popular game show “Wheel of Fortune” following Sajak’s upcoming retirement next year.

However, the future of Vanna White, who has been the longtime letter-turner on the show, remains uncertain in the face of these changes.

White, who has graced the screens of “Wheel of Fortune” since 1982, has reportedly sought legal counsel following Sajak’s retirement news, amidst claims that she has not received a pay raise in 18 years.

Puck News reports that White has been earning approximately $3 million per year since 2005, with bonuses being her sole source of financial growth during this period.

In contrast, Sajak, aged 76, is purportedly compensated significantly more generously for his hosting duties. Forbes previously reported that he earned $15 million annually from the show in 2016.

In response to these circumstances, White has apparently enlisted the services of prominent attorney Bryan Freedman, known for his assertive representation of numerous Hollywood heavyweights in their disputes with television networks. Freedman’s client list includes former “Jeopardy!” host Mike Richards, and it has been reported that he has also been retained by Don Lemon following his contentious departure from CNN.

Freedman is expected to address the issue of pay discrepancy with Sony Pictures Television, the production company behind “Wheel of Fortune,” and potentially explore the possibility of gender discrimination in White’s salary.

White’s contract is set to expire at the end of the 2023-2024 season, and she is reportedly aiming to secure a substantial financial package should she decide to continue her tenure on the show.

The specific details of Seacrest’s compensation as the new host have not been disclosed. However, according to a statement from Sony on Tuesday, he will also serve as a consulting producer for the program.

The New York Post has reached out to both “Wheel of Fortune” and representatives for White and Seacrest for comment but has yet to receive a response.

The announcement of Seacrest as the new host follows recent speculation from an unnamed insider who claimed to the Daily Mail that White fears being “pushed out” of her role once Sajak steps down.

For over 40 years, Sajak and White have been the faces of “Wheel of Fortune,” with Sajak joining the show in 1981 and White coming on board a year later. As of now, White has not publicly commented on Seacrest’s appointment.

Expressing his gratitude, Seacrest stated in a Tuesday statement, “I am truly honored to step into the legendary Pat Sajak’s shoes. Alongside the rest of America, I can confidently say that watching Pat and Vanna on our television screens for an unprecedented 40 years has been a privilege and pure joy, making us smile every night and feel right at home.”

Seacrest indicated that White would continue her role on the program, saying, “I am excited to carry on the tradition of spinning the wheel and working alongside the incredible Vanna White.” Sajak had announced his retirement plans two weeks prior, stating that he would step down next spring following the conclusion of the upcoming season.

Sajak shared on Twitter, “Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last. It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all. (If nothing else, it’ll keep the clickbait sites busy!)”

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