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 behavior 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 $25 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”) – $3 million

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Getty

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

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Vivien Killilea/Getty

Alec Baldwin (“Match Game”) – $3 million

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Lars Niki/Getty

Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol”) – $12 million

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Reuters

Conan O’Brien (“Conan”) – $12 million

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Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty

David Letterman (Untitled Netflix Interview Show) – $12 million

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Gary Gershoff/Getty

Anderson Cooper (CNN) – $12 million

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Neilson Barnard/Getty

George Stephanopoulos (ABC News) – $15 million

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Ray Tamarra/Getty

Ryan Seacrest (“Live with Kelly & Ryan”) – $15 million


Pat Sajak (“Wheel of Fortune”) – $15 million

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David Becker/Getty

Jimmy Kimmel (“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”) – $15 million

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Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Stephen Colbert (“The Late Show”) – $15 million

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Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for Montclair Film Festival

Jimmy Fallon (“The Tonight Show”) – $16 million

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NBC

Robin Roberts (“Good Morning America”) – $18 million

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Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Megyn Kelly (NBC News) – $18 million


Kelly Ripa (“Live with Kelly & Ryan”) – $22 million


Katy Perry (“American Idol”) – $25 million

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Getty

Matt Lauer (“Today”) – $25 million


Judith Sheindlin (“Judge Judy”) – $47 million

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Stephen Lovekin/Getty

Ellen DeGeneres (“The Ellen DeGeneres Show”) – $50 million

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Jesse Grant/Getty Images