Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis is negotiating a new contract with the BBC, which the corporation says it hopes to agree “soon”, after she was revealed to be among its lowest paid top journalism talent this week.
Press Gazette understands negotiations around Matilis’ contract are due to it being up for renewal and are not related to the disclosures of salaries above £150,000 for its stars made for the first time on Wednesday.
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Maitlis’ agent Alex Armitage said on Twitter that it was “beyond madness” she did not make the top earners list and said the situation was “being dealt with”.
Wage figures showed Maitlis’ Newsnight colleague Evan Davis is paid £250,00 to £299,999 for the nightly programme and other presenting duties. Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark is paid £150,000 to £199,999.
Alongside her work on Newsnight, Maitlis (pictured) is a BBC newsreader and has helped host election and Budget coverage specials. She has also made a number of BBC documentaries.
Maitlis currently works part-time for the BBC and would, reportedly, be in the £150,000+ wage bracket if she presented a larger number of Newsnights.
A BBC spokesperson said: “Emily is one of the brightest stars in British journalism. Emily has been off rota for several weeks now while we negotiate a new contract and we hope to reach an agreement soon.”
The BBC has come under fire for the gender pay gap highlighted by the release of salary details, with women making up just one third of its 96 top earning stars.
Maitlis herself addressed the imbalance at the TechUK conference on Wednesday, quipping: “You’re an industry doing so well, soon you’ll be able to afford a BBC man,” the Guardian reported.
Prime Minister Theresa May told radio station LBC: “I think what has happened today is we have seen the way the BBC is paying women less for doing the same job as the men.
“I want to see women paid equally with men. The only reason we know about this though is because the Government required the BBC to publish these figures.”
The corporation’s director general Tony Hall said it has “set a clear target for 2020: we want all our lead and presenting roles to be equally divided between men and women”.
He added: “Meeting our goal on this is going to have a profound impact not just on the BBC, but the whole media industry. It’s going to change the market for talent in this country.”
He was followed by Today programme and Mastermind presenter John Humprhys on £600,000 to £649,999 and News at Ten anchor Huw Edwards on between £550,000 and £599,999.
Newsreader Fiona Bruce is the corporation’s highest paid woman journalist on between £350,000 and £399,999, which includes her role presenting the Antiques Roadshow.