So it’s official: Larry King is scoring the first post-jail interview with Paris Hilton. CNN’s victory comes thanks to a tangled series of events. Here’s FishbowlNY’s guide to how Larry landed Paris:
- First, ABC offered $100,000 for a Hilton interview. Paris even called Barbara Walters from jail. Walters is personal friends with mother Kathy Hilton.
- NBC offered to have Hilton appear on the Today show post-release, reportedly willing to pay as much as $1 million. Enter the allegations of checkbook journalism. NBC and ABC backed down.
- Never ones to walk away from a good celebrity bidding war, People magazine is paying Hilton $300,000 for an interview and photoshoot. Since it’s celebrity print journalism, no one is surprised.
- On Sunday, CNN announced Larry King will interview Hilton after her release on Tuesday. CNN claims Hilton was not paid for the interview, but the Times speculates CNN will pay Getty Images, the photo agency who is handling People‘s photoshoot. Interesting!
All in all, the Los Angeles Daily News estimates Hilton could earn as much as $43,578 per day in media fees for her three week-plus jail stay. Those tears were worth it.