TV Personalities — Making Bank One Show At A Time

While movie stars get the most attention regarding their salaries for movie and TV roles, make no mistake about it: there is serious money to be made in being a TV personality or host.

Whether it’s hosting late night shows, judging performance-based programs, or reporting the news as they see it, TV personalities and hosts earn millions of dollars a year for simply being themselves. While it’s a cut throat industry where only the strong or well-connected survive, those personalities that do make it are certainly compensated for their work.

Business Insider reports that some of our most trusted, loved, and even hated TV personalities bring in anywhere from $10 to $30 million a year for their hosting duties.

Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, reportedly makes nearly $30 million a year for his role as the beloved show’s host, making him the highest paid late night host in TV history.

With his departure slated for later this year, Jon will be leaving behind a legacy of political satire, hard line interviews, and a high dollar salary. It should be noted, however, that big paychecks mean big investments into these TV personalities. As reported by the Inquisitr, Viacom stock lost nearly $350 million of it’s value after the announcement of the host’s departure.

Even TV personalities who haven’t made it to the Jon Stewart level of making bank still pull in fairly nice paychecks. Former E! host and comedian Chelsea Handler is reported to have made between $8 and $12 million over the course of two years for the Chelsea Handler Show. She has also recently signed a $10 million dollar deal with Netflix involving a series of comedy specials and a talk show.

Fox News hosts fetch a pretty impressive salary, regardless of their credibility or popularity. The controversial Bill O’Reilly, who hosts Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, not only makes an impressive salary of over $17 million a year, but due to the show’s popularity, the network handed him a raise of one million dollars, bringing the TV personality’s annual salary to $18 million annually. The O’Reilly Factor is Fox News top watched news show.

Certain hosts you expect to see bringing the big bucks. Late night staple David Letterman, with nearly 30 years under his belt as a late night host, nets $20 million a year for The Late Show. David will be ending his long-running career as a late-night host in 2015 with political satirist and former Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert set to take over as host of The Late Show.

Matt Lauer, who has reached celebrity status as TV anchor and host of the Today show, signed a multi-layered contract that netted the TV personality between $22 million to $25 million dollars a year, per a 2013 article in the Huffington Post. With the stormy departure of fan favorite Ann Curry leaving the show with a ratings deficit, Matt certainly had his hands full with attempting to win back audience’s affection. It seems with this kind of salary, executives at the Today show made it worth his while.

[Image cortsey of Salon.com]