Ryan Seacrest is looking forward to filling Pat Sajak’s shoes.
While Seacrest is slated to take over for Sajak when he retires after the current season of “Wheel of Fortune,” longtime co-host Vanna White has been quiet about her own future on the show, even as rumors have swirled of a difficult contract dispute. Now, Seacrest is admitting that it’s unclear if she will continue on the revamped show.
While speaking at a conference for Fortune magazine, the “American Idol” host spoke briefly about his upcoming game show gig. Toward the end of his conversation, he was asked, “Are you going to keep Vanna White?”
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“Well, so I am going to…” he began before switching gears a bit, saying, “I’m fortunate enough to take over for the legendary Pat Sajak.”
He continued, “Next year, which I am so… My energy’s gonna go up, sir, on that. I’m telling you. I have been the biggest fan of that show forever.”
“I love Vanna White. I’ve known Vanna for a long time. We sat in important places next to each other. And I hope for nothing more than to be able to walk out on that stage and host with her.”
Seacrest didn’t elaborate further, but his wording was notable for fans who have been keeping up with the uncertainty surrounding White’s future on “Wheel of Fortune.”
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After Sajak announced his retirement, dedicated viewers became curious about the possibility of White retiring along with him. In June, reports began circulating that White did want to stay on the show, but that she was requesting a raise in pay.
White, 66, has reportedly been in negotiations to renew her contract to continue co-hosting “Wheel of Fortune,” according to People.
After being a co-host alongside Sajak, 76, for more than four decades, White requested a pay raise in her new deal.
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Her last pay increase was reportedly nearly 20 years ago, as White earns $3 million annually while Sajak makes five times as much, according to People via Puck.
Sajak made $15 million a year from “Wheel of Fortune” in 2016, Forbes reported.
While Seacrest isn’t sure if White will join him next year in his first season of hosting the beloved game show, fans have made it clear that they have an idea of who could take her spot if she retires as well – Sajak’s daughter, Maggie.
Maggie has been a familiar face on “Wheel of Fortune,” acting as the show’s social media correspondent. She also took White’s place for an episode of “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” earlier this year when White competed along with “Jeopardy!” hosts Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik.
“Love Maggie she should take Vanna s place sorry but it’s time,” one person commented on one of Maggie’s recent Instagram posts.
“Maggie, you REALLY need to host the show!!” another follower told her.
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