Wheel of Fortune Considered Eliminating Vanna White Role

Vanna White
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Update, 6/23/23 at 1:45 p.m. ET:

After reports circulated that Vanna White could be leaving Wheel of Fortune along with Pat Sajak, an insider exclusively told Us Weekly that’s not the case.

“There’s no truth to the rumors that with Pat’s retirement, Wheel of Fortune plans on eliminating Vanna in any way, shape or form,” a source close to production explained on Friday, June 23. “They’re currently in negotiations with Vanna.”

Original story continues below:

Wheel of Fortune won’t be the same show after Pat Sajak exits next year — possibly in more ways than one.

According to a report from Puck published on Thursday, June 22, higher-ups at Sony have considered “eliminating” Vanna White‘s role after her longtime colleague, 76, retires from the game show in 2024. White, 66, has been Sajak’s cohost on Wheel of Fortune since 1982.

The outlet noted that White’s departure could happen if Sajak is replaced by someone who is already a household name. White is reportedly in the process of negotiating her return after the conclusion of the 2023-24 season, which will be Sajak’s last.

Wheel of Fortune Considered Eliminating Vanna White Role 3

Vanna White
ABC/Christopher Willard

Earlier this month, Sajak announced that he will step down from the series in 2024 after more than 40 years as the host. “Well, the time has come,” he said in a statement on June 12. “I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last. It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months. Many thanks to you all.”

While some Wheel of Fortune viewers only know White as Sajak’s letter-spinning (and later letter-tapping) partner, she has also hosted the show in the past, filling in for Sajak in 2019 while he recovered from emergency surgery for a blocked intestine.

“I’ve never even thought of that in 37 years, and to be asked almost on the spot, ‘How do you feel about hosting the show?’ Like, what?!” White told The New York Times when asked how she felt about stepping into the role. “I was very nervous.”

Wheel of Fortune Considered Eliminating Vanna White Role 2

Vanna White and Pat Sajak
ABC/Christopher Willard

In the same interview, White said she would love to see more women hosting game shows. “Everybody’s entitled to host the show: female, male, everyone,” she explained. “It would be fun to see more women up there doing that. If that’s what they want to do.”

Since Sajak announced his retirement, plenty of celebrities have thrown their hats into the ring for a chance to host the long-running puzzle game, which debuted in 1975. Earlier this month, Andy Cohen exclusively told Us Weekly that hosting Wheel of Fortune would be his “dream job.”

“Not only is a game show the thing that I haven’t done yet, but that is the premiere game show,” the Bravo host, 55, added. “It’s really fun.”

Cohen faces stiff competition, though, with Whoopi Goldberg saying she wants the gig and reports circulating the Ryan Seacrest is one of the top contenders.

“I want that job,” Goldberg, 67, said during the June 13 episode of The View. “I think it would be lots of fun.”