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XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX WED JAN 02 2002 12:04:09 ET XXXXX
CABLE WAR INTENSIFIES: CNN GRETA TURNS DOWN CNN CASH, JUMPS TO FOX NEWS
CNN's second-highest rated host Greta van Susteren is jumping to rival FOX NEWS for nearly $1 million a year, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.
CNN had countered the FOX offer with more money -- close to $1.4 million a year -- but she rejected, say top sources.
CNN fumbled during negotiations, say insiders, all but handing FOX the PR coup. Top AOLTIMEWARNER suits failed to sign Greta to a long term deal early on, opening up the option to jump. The move is seen as a personal blow to new CNN head Walter Isaacson.
The multiyear deal is expected to be signed within the hour.
FOX NEWS President Roger Ailes has given Greta the 10 pm slot, and has assured heavy ad promotion.
CNN executives are furious with Greta's dramatic turn. "She really showed her true colors, she has no loyalty to the network that made her," said a top executive in New York.
CNN first hired van Susteren as a legal analyst 10 years ago.
Greta's move comes as FOX NEWS has matched -- and in some dayparts has even surpassed -- CNN in the ratings.
"The timing of this is a giant psychology blow to people here," added the CNN source.
Filed By Matt Drudge
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