NBC signs Russert to long-term deal


Tim Russert has re-upped with NBC for another 12 years (through Dec. 31,

No word on how much of a pay raise Russert's getting, but observers speculate
that it's probably not nearly as large as the one being rumored for Today
host Katie Couric.

At $10 million annually, she's already one of the highest paid journalists in
the universe.

There's been speculation that NBC is trying to put together a package that
give Couric an annual paycheck of $50 million or more a year.

Insiders say the numbers they're hearing being floated are $13 million to $15
million in base salary, plus, possibly, an ownership stake in a new show or
production entity.

Couric's current deal with NBC expires in May 2002.

Russert, host of Meet the Press and Washington bureau chief for NBC
News, is considered one of the most influential journalists in the Washington
press corps.

He'll take on the added title of managing editor of Meet the Press,
the longest running program in the history of television.

He'll also continue to serve as chief political analyst for Today and
NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.

This week marks Russert's 10th anniversary as moderator of Meet
the Press.