Cash Paved Way From Studio to Statehouse
NBC paid Shriver even after newswoman became Calif. first lady
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2008 4:45 PM CDT

(Newser) – Maria Shriver received hundreds of thousands of dollars from NBC after leaving her position as a "Dateline" anchor when her husband became the governor of California, the LA Times reports. Economic statements filed by Schwarzenegger reveal that NBC paid Shriver between $100,000 and $1 million annually from 2004 until she decided not to return to TV news in early 2007.

NBC opted for the exit agreement to leave Shriver the possibility of returning, and because if the network had fired her, it would have been on the hook for her full salary for the 3 years left on her contract. The first lady said she had long intended to return, but the poor taste shown in the frenzy surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith changed her mind: “I just thought to myself, 'This is not where I want to work,'" she said.