WLS-TV’s 5 p.m. news anchor Diann Burns has picked up a healthy pay raise by accepting early renewal of her contract with the ABC station. The deal reportedly pays her more than $3.5 million over the next five years.

Burns, who joined the WLS news team in 1985, had two more years remaining on her previous contract. WLS apparently wished to lock her in before the competition came courting. Bill Applegate, v.p. and general manager of CBS’ WBBM-TV, hired Burns while he was news director at WLS and made no secret of his desire to bring her over to his new outfit.

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