The 21 Highest Paid TV Hosts [Ranked]

Kelly ripa
Michael Strahan joined Kelly Ripa to co-host ‘Live!’ in 2012. Charles Sykes/Invision/AP Images

How does Jon Stewart’s paycheck compare to that of morning hosts Kelly Ripa or Matt Lauer?

TV Guide has rolled out its annual list of television’s highest-paid stars.

From television actors and reality celebrities to daytime and late-night personalities, the four-page report gives a broad look at more than 160 salaries according to numbers from television executives and industry insiders.

To make sense of all the numbers, we’ve ranked the highest-paid daytime, primetime, and news host salaries.

Maury Povitch’s daytime infamous “You are not the father!” segments have led him to receive a paycheck higher than journalists Ann Curry, Anderson Cooper, and Diane Sawyer.

While Jay Leno and David Letterman once commanded the highest salaries on late night, Viacom is reportedly pouring even more money into “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart.

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[slide
permalink=”21-ann-curry-5-million-1″
title=”21. Ann Curry: $US5 million”
content=”After Curry was ousted from the ‘Today’ show last summer, she was offered a position as foreign correspondent for the network that would give her $US5 million a year.”
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permalink=”20-queen-latifah-5-10-million-2″
title=”20. Queen Latifah: $US5-$10 million”
content=”Starting September 16, ‘The Queen Latifah Show’ will air daily on CBS. The syndicated program comes from Will Smith’s production company, Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Pictures TV.”
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[slide
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title=”19. Robin Roberts: $US6 million”
content=”The ‘Good Morning America’ co-host returned to the show in February after a public battle with myelodysplastic syndrome. Roberts has been a co-anchor since May 2005. She started working on the program June 1995.”
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[slide
permalink=”18-rachel-maddow-7-million-4″
title=”18. Rachel Maddow: $US7 million”
content=”‘The Rachel Maddow Show’ debuted on MSNBC in 2008. This past May, the show had its lowest ratings since its start.”
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[slide
permalink=”tied-17-chelsea-handler-8-million-5″
title=”(TIED) 17. Chelsea Handler: $US8 million”
content=”The ‘Chelsea Lately’ host is signed to E! through 2014. Lindsay Lohan hosted the show for an evening following her rehab stint.”
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[slide
permalink=”tied-17-craig-ferguson-8-million-6″
title=”(TIED) 17. Craig Ferguson: $US8 million”
content=”The Scottish born ‘The Late Late Show’ host has been doing CBS late-night duties since 2005. Some have speculated he may take over for Letterman once he leaves.”
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[slide
permalink=”tied-15-anderson-cooper-10-million-7″
title=”(TIED) 15. Anderson Cooper: $US10 million”
content=”Cooper’s daytime talk show ‘Anderson Live’ wasn’t renewed last year for a third season; however, the CNN host’s ‘Anderson Cooper 360’ is still thriving.

If he didn’t already have his own show, there was a good chance he could have been in the running to co-host ‘Live!’ with Kelly Ripa after Philbin’s departure. The CNN anchor was often a fill-in.”
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[slide
permalink=”tied-15-katie-couic-10-million-8″
title=”(TIED) 15. Katie Couic: $US10 million”
content=”In 2011, Couric signed a
multiyear contract with ABC for daytime talk show ‘Katie.’ January, she was the first to interview Manti Te’o after he was found to be part of a fake girlfriend scandal. The show will begin its second season this fall.”
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[slide
permalink=”tied-15-jimmy-kimmel-10-million-9″
title=”(TIED) 15. Jimmy Kimmel: $US10 million”
content=”Between parodies of ‘The Bachelor,’ unnecessary and an ongoing fake feud with Matt Damon, Kimmel has been a must-watch on late night.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/52166f086bb3f7b435000022″
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[slide
permalink=”12-jimmy-fallon-11-million-10″
title=”12. Jimmy Fallon: $US11 million”
content=”Fallon may be looking at a bigger paycheck when he takes over ‘The Tonight Show’ from Jay Leno next year. Seth Meyers will replace Fallon as NBC’s ‘Late Night’ host.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/52166e7d69bedd5807000000″
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[slide
permalink=”tied-11-conan-obrien-12-million-11″
title=”(TIED) 11. Conan O’Brien: $US12 million”
content=”Despite the Conan / Leno debacle of 2010 over ‘The Tonight Show,’ O’Brien has been flourishing on his TBS talk show ‘Conan.'”
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[slide
permalink=”tied-11-diane-sawyer-12-million-12″
title=”(TIED) 11. Diane Sawyer: $US12 million”
content=”Earlier this year, there have been rumours the ABC World News host may retire due to personal matters.”
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[slide
permalink=”9-brian-williams-13-million-13″
title=”9. Brian Williams: $US13 million”
content=”In May, Williams’ show ‘Rock Center’ was cancelled amid low ratings. According to a New York Times’ article, Williams felt ‘insulted’ by the network’s decision. Williams still hosts NBC Nightly News.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/52166be469bedd7b7b000011″
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[slide
permalink=”8-maury-povich-14-million-14″
title=”8. Maury Povich: $US14 million”
content=”Paternity tests and countless utterances of ‘You are not the father‘ transformed the tabloid show into what it is today after its ‘Who’s the Daddy?’ paternity segments gained popularity.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/52163bf56bb3f76454000000″
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[slide
permalink=”7-bill-oreilly-17-million-15″
title=”7. Bill O’Reilly: $US17 million”
content=”‘The O’Reilly Factor’ host announced he’s releasing a third book, ‘Killing Jesus,’ due out September 24.”
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[slide
permalink=”6-tie-kelly-ripa-20-million-16″
title=”6. (TIE) Kelly Ripa: $US20 million”
content=”Leaving soap operas may have been the best thing for Ripa. After joining ‘Live!’ in 2001, she took over hosting after Regis Philbin’s departure from the show in 2011. Michael Strahan joined the show in September 2012 and is receiving a reported $US4 million as co-host.”
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[slide
permalink=”6-tie-jay-leno-20-million-17″
title=”6. (TIE) Jay Leno: $US20 million”
content=”The ‘Tonight Show’ host is getting replaced next year by Jimmy Fallon in hopes of drawing a younger key demographic to the peacock network. Before the news was confirmed, Leno filled his monologues with a flurry of jokes aimed at NBC execs.”
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[slide
permalink=”6-tie-david-letterman-20-million-18″
title=”6. (TIE) David Letterman: $US20 million”
content=”Leno’s rival Letterman also receives the same paycheck. This month, ‘The Late Show’ will celebrate its 20th year anniversary. Last year, the late-night host’s contract was extended through 2014, making him the longest-running late-night host.”
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[slide
permalink=”3-matt-lauer-22-25-million-19″
title=”3. Matt Lauer: $US22-$25 million”
content=”The ‘Today’ show host signed a new contract last April that reportedly landed him a $25 million deal and slowly began to edge Ann Curry from her co-host chair.”
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[slide
permalink=”2-jon-stewart-25-30-million-20″
title=”2. Jon Stewart: $US25-$30 million”
content=”Stewart has been hosting ‘The Daily Show’ since 1999. The satirical news host has been on hiatus this summer to embark on a directorial debut.

Stewart returns to the show September 3.”
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[slide
permalink=”1-judge-judy-sheindlin-47-million-21″
title=”1. Judge Judy Sheindlin: $US47 million”
content=”The syndicated courtroom judge received a $US2 million raise from last year. Her show receives an average of 8-9 million viewers — more than triple the viewers of most of the evening shows.

TV Guide reports ‘Judge Judy’ brought in $US230 million in advertising last year.”
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permalink=”those-are-the-biggest-earners-on-television-22″
title=”Those are the biggest earners on television.”
content=”

Now see where the most successful winners from ‘Survivor’ are today >


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