"We came to the network at the same time and did similar jobs," Sadler says.
Catt Sadler has disputed E! chief Frances Berwick's explanation of the pay gap between herself and former co-worker Jason Kennedy, who was making roughly twice as much when she quit the network in December.
"My experience, frustration and disparity was based on Jason Kennedy and myself being apples to apples," Sadler told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Wednesday, a day after Berwick told the press the two "had different roles and therefore different salaries."
"Catt was focused on daytime. Jason Kennedy is on primetime evening news, plus red carpet," Berwick said at NBC's Television Critics Association panel on Tuesday. "Our employees' salaries are based on their roles and their expertise, regardless of gender. We wish Catt well, but I hope that sets the record straight on that."
Sadler, however, clearly does not agree with Berwick, the president of lifestyle networks at NBCUniversal.
"We came to the network at the same time and did similar jobs," Sadler told THR. She also appeared to address comments from Kennedy's wife, Lauren Scruggs, who wrote an essay defending the network, stating he "had a female co-anchor on E! News who made three times his salary."
"For people to use the argument that Giuliana [Rancic] somehow made more money than Jason, that comparison doesn't work," Sadler told THR. "They're apples and oranges. She joined before him, she was managing editor, she had multiple shows on the network. It's unfortunate that people who don't work there are trying to be the voice for the network. The only story I can tell is my truth and the truth speaks for itself."
Sadler announced that she was quitting the network last month in a lengthy essay on her official website. She blamed "the decision makers" for failing to pay her what they were paying Kennedy. After 12 years with the company, Sadler said she learned during a recent contract renegotiation that Kennedy was making roughly twice her salary.
"An executive from E brought something alarming to my attention -- namely, that there was a massive disparity in pay between my similarly situated male co-host and myself," she wrote. "More recently, when E reached out to renew and extend my deal, I learned that he wasn't just making a little more than I was. In fact, he was making close to double my salary for the past several years."
"Information is power," Sadler wrote. "We are living in a new era. The gender pay gap is shrinking, although admittedly we have a long way to go. And well, I learned this first hand. My team and I asked for what I know I deserve and were denied repeatedly."
A spokesman for E! at the time said, "Ms. Sadler's and Mr. Kennedy's roles were not comparable."