Chelsea Clinton earned $600,000 annually from NBC News in her role as special correspondent from 2011 to earlier this year, according to a report from Politico.
Sources with knowledge of the agreement told the online publication that Clinton — daughter of American royals Hillary and Bill — switched over to a month-to-month contract with the news network recently.
The move was a precaution in case her mother decides to run for president, which would cast doubts on Chelsea’s ability to impartially report on the probable Democratic nominee in 2016.
A spokesperson for NBC did not deny the details of Clinton’s compensation. “We don’t comment on details of existing contracts,” Kamyl Bazbaz said. “NBC News continues to enjoy a wonderful working relationship with Chelsea, and we are proud of her work.”
The youngest Clinton worked as a television correspondent for most of her time at NBC News, often contributing to “Rock Center with Brian Williams” before the show was cancelled last year.
But despite her massive salary, Chelsea has hardly been a huge draw for the network. With no prior journalism experience and a schedule often overtaken by work at her parents’ charitable foundation, she’s struggled to even gain a toehold in the TV news business.
A 2012 story from Buzzfeed explained how Clinton made the rounds with a number of networks in 2011, including CBS and CNN as well as NBC. “They acted like we should be grateful” that Chelsea was considering working for them, one executive who passed on Clinton explained.
And once brought onboard at NBC? “Terrible” on television, said one senior staffer. “Horrible,” said another. “Upon her debut, the Washington Post described her as ‘one of the most boring people of her era.’”
“Certainly she’s not operating as a reporter,” an unnamed media observer told Buzzfeed. “You need a regular presence to become established and break through. Yes, she has world wide name recognition at a young age, but you still have to do the work and show up on screen.”
But a lack of talent couldn’t take away the power of her lineage. NBC reportedly showered Chelsea with special treatment, granting her a chauffeur and personal network spokesperson and allowing her to avoid live shots whenever possible. That level of perks and coddling isn’t even granted to NBC heavyweights like David Gregory.
Apparently $600,000 for inconsistent and subpar reporting is just another one of those perks.