'Wheel Of Fortune' Replaces Vanna White During Her Contract Negotiations

By Dave Basner

August 14, 2023

Photo: Getty Images

Wheel Of Fortune recently announced a big change - that Ryan Seacrest would replace longtime host Pat Sajak, who plans to retire at the end of the upcoming 41st season, however before then, you'll see another personnel shift. For five shows in October, someone other than Vanna White will be turning the letters.

It will happen during "Teachers Week" because Vanna was sick when the shows taped. Since the shows couldn't be rescheduled because the academic school year was starting for some of the contestants, Wheel producers had to make the call to replace Vanna. To fit the theme, Wheel brought in California's 2023 Teacher of the Year, Bridgette Donald-Blue, to sub for Vanna.

Vanna is committed to her job and her upcoming absences mark only the fourth time she has missed a taping in her long career, and the first time she has in 30 years. The last time she called out was when she was ill in 1991. Before that, also in 1991, she took time off to go on a two-week honeymoon with her new husband, George Santo Pietro. The first time she didn't make a taping was in 1986, when her boyfriend, John Gibson, was killed in a car crash.

Meanwhile, White, who has been with the iconic game show since 1982, is currently renegotiating her contract. After Pat announced his retirement, Vanna reportedly said she would return to the show but only if she gets a pay raise. According to People, her last raise came almost 20 years ago. She is rumored to make $3 million a year, while Sajak makes five times that amount.

White is said to still be working on a deal with Wheel. The 41st season begins on September 11.

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