2-year deal sealed for ‘Rivera Live’

Geraldo Rivera has signed a two-year deal to continue hosting “Rivera Live” for CNBC.

Sources say the new cable deal provides the host of the syndicated “Geraldo” with a 50% raise in his minimum annual salary, which will jump to $750,000 from $500,000. If Rivera reaches certain incentives, the value of the pact could reach a maximum of $1 million per year (the previous cap was $750,000).

The CNBC deal was cemented after Rivera and “Geraldo” syndicator Tribune Entertainment Co. nixed a plan to take a version of the critically acclaimed one-hour latenight show into syndication.

The biggest stumbling block to syndication was Rivera’s insistence that the show start in January – when his CNBC deal was set to expire- rather than fall 1996. The talkshow host apparently did not want the issues-oriented program off the air for nine months.

With the Fox-New World programming deal tying up late night on Fox Broadcasting and the Fox O&Os, TEC wanted to hold off until fall ’96. Then it could have gone after one-hour latenight timeslots filled by the new Disney talker “Stephanie Miller.”

OJ.: The Telethon?

If O.J. Simpson walks, Hollywood producers are buzzing about the possibilities. The scenario making its way around town: a pay-per-view special – which should raise more than enough to cover all the legal bills – followed by the book and finally, O.J.: The Talkshow.

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