KATIE COURIC GRIPES: THESE HOURS ARE BRUTAL!

Published on: February 28, 2002

Poor Katie Couric -- even $65 million can't make her happy!

The "Today" show host -- whose new five-year deal with NBC makes her the richest personality in TV news -- recently complained that her 3-hour early morning on-air schedule is nearly too much to bear.

"I'm tired, the hours are brutal," she said. "It's hard to make yourself go to bed at 7:30 or 8."

Katie's wake-up call at her $3.2 million, four-bedroom Manhattan apartment comes between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m.

But she has a nanny to get her two young daughters to school, a nutritional expert to prepare her meals, a housekeeper, a chauffeured limousine to take her to and from the studio, a $7,500-a-week workout trainer, hair and makeup artists to prepare her for the show and a personal assistant to attend to her phone calls and correspondence.

Katie's usually home by early afternoon and the single mom admits she does have a lot of time to spend with her daughters.

If she has to be at her kids' school for a norning evert, Katie can usually get permission to leave the show at 8:30 a.m.

And she has plenty of time in the afternoons to step out with her boyfriend, producer Tom Werner.

Other single moms find it hard to sympathize with Katie's complaints about her "brutal" schedule.

Jaime Hinojosa, a 25-year-old waitress at the City Diner in Corpus Christie, Texas, earns about $15,000 a year and would need to work almost four years to make what Katie earns in a single day, abut $55,000.

Her day begins about the same time as the "Today" show host but in those early morning hours, Jaime's studying for the college courses she's taking to improve her life.

When her 5-year-old son gets up at 7 a.m., Jaime can spend an hour with him before the babysitter shows up and then it's off to classes.

On the days she doesn't have school, Jaime puts in a second shift at the diner to earn extra money.

"I get home about 7 p.m. and that's when I spend a little quality time with my son," she told The ENQUIRER.

"Katie Couric should thank her lucky stars she's not in my position. I don't have any sympathy for her."