ABC Will No Longer Pay Interviewees
Posted on Tue Jul 26, 2011 10:13 AM PDT

CaseyAnthonyABC072611_230.jpgLOS ANGELES, California (X17online) - ABC will no longer pay subjects "licensing fees" for exclusive interviews.

Though no public announcement was made, ABC's spokesman Jeffery Schneider confirmed the decision. He told The Daily Beast:

    “We can book just about anyone based on the strength of our journalism, the excellence of our anchors, correspondents, and producers, and the size of our audience. These licensing deals had become a crutch and an unnecessary one.”

ABC has taken major public relations hits lately, including paying Casey Anthony $200,000 in 2008 for photos of her daughter Caylee. Anthony was charged of killing Caylee shortly after. This past May, ABC was ready to pay $10,000 to a woman who claimed she gave her 8-year-old daughter Botox. After she appeared on Good Morning America, the woman admitted it was all a hoax, and she was never paid for the story.

The most recent hitch came when Meagan Broussard was paid $10,000-15,000 for photos in the New York Congressman Anthony Weiner scandal, which aired in her exclusive 20/20 interview. Host Chris Cuomo defended the move as "state of play" in today's world of journalism.

NBC has also admitted to paying news subjects, but never six figure amounts like ABC has given out.

When Ben Sherwood took over as ABC's news division's president in December, he reviewed the network's licensing process. He believed the network was beginning to tarnish its journalistic reputation, prompting the current decision. No word yet on if the other networks will follow suit.