Fired 'Today' host Matt Lauer's contract was reportedly worth $25 million a year -- here's how that compares to other top TV show hosts

On Wednesday, NBC announced in shocking fashion while opening the “Today” show that its longtime host Matt Lauer had been fired due to “inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace.”

This is the latest bombshell revelation of a powerful man in entertainment who has been taken down due to sexual misconduct allegations.

Though it’s too soon to tell what the ramifications will be for “Today” in the battle for morning ratings, it’s clear NBC has lost one of its major players. That’s evident by how much the company was paying him.

Lauer, who has been a host on “Today” for 20 years, was earning $US25 million a year, according to Variety.

The trade compiled the biggest estimated annual salaries of reality, news, and talk show hosts over the summer, and Lauer is in the top three on the list, which also includes the likes of Megyn Kelly, Ryan Seacrest, and Ellen DeGeneres.

Here are the top 20 paid hosts:

Note: Some of these figures below include fees for producing and back-end compensation.

Mike Myers (“The Gong Show”) – $US3 million


Jamie Foxx (“Beat Shazam”) – $ 3 million

Vivien Killilea/Getty

Alec Baldwin (“Match Game”) – $US3 million

Lars Niki/Getty

Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol”) – $US12 million

Conan O’Brien (“Conan”) – $US12 million

Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty

David Letterman (Untitled Netflix Interview Show) – $US12 million

Gary Gershoff/Getty

Anderson Cooper (CNN) – $US12 million

George Stephanopoulos (ABC News) – $US15 million

Ray Tamarra/Getty

Ryan Seacrest (“Live with Kelly & Ryan”) – $US15 million

Pat Sajak (“Wheel of Fortune”) – $US15 million

David Becker/Getty

Jimmy Kimmel (“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”) – $US15 million

Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Stephen Colbert (“The Late Show”) – $US15 million

Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for Montclair Film Festival

Jimmy Fallon (“The Tonight Show”) – $US16 million


Robin Roberts (“Good Morning America”) – $US18 million

Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Megyn Kelly (NBC News) – $US18 million

Kelly Ripa (“Live with Kelly & Ryan”) – $US22 million

Katy Perry (“American Idol”) – $US25 million


Matt Lauer (“Today”) – $US25 million

Judith Sheindlin (“Judge Judy”) – $US47 million

Stephen Lovekin/Getty

Ellen DeGeneres (“The Ellen DeGeneres Show”) – $US50 million

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