NBC’s huge bet on Megyn Kelly seems to be floundering, according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint.
NBC paid a hefty $69 million salary (over three years) to lure Kelly from Fox News, but since then “her ratings declines and higher production costs have been a drag on a critical franchise for NBC,” The Journal reports.
Her daytime show “Megyn Kelly Today,” which airs at 9 a.m., has seen underwhelming viewership, and her Sunday newsmagazine has been downgraded to “occasional prime-time specials.”
The Journal called Kelly’s $23-million-a-year contract a “throwback to the golden age of broadcast news,” but how does it stack up next to other top TV hosts today?
In August, Variety compiled the biggest estimated annual salaries of reality, news, and talk show hosts. There were newbies to the game like Mike Meyers and Jamie Foxx, and big hitters like Ryan Seacrest, Ellen DeGeneres, and Judith Sheindlin (you know her better as Judge Judy).
Here were the top paid hosts, as estimated by Variety last summer (excluding Megyn Kelly):
Note: Some of these figures below include fees for producing and back-end compensation.
Mike Myers (“The Gong Show”) – $3 million
Jamie Foxx (“Beat Shazam”) – $ 3 million
- Vivien Killilea/Getty
Alec Baldwin (“Match Game”) – $3 million
- Lars Niki/Getty
Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol”) – $12 million
Conan O’Brien (“Conan”) – $12 million
- Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty
David Letterman (Untitled Netflix Interview Show) – $12 million
- Gary Gershoff/Getty
Anderson Cooper (CNN) – $12 million
- Neilson Barnard/Getty
George Stephanopoulos (ABC News) – $15 million
- Ray Tamarra/Getty
Ryan Seacrest (“Live with Kelly & Ryan”) – $15 million
Pat Sajak (“Wheel of Fortune”) – $15 million
- David Becker/Getty
Jimmy Kimmel (“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”) – $15 million
- Pascal Le Segretain/Getty
Stephen Colbert (“The Late Show”) – $15 million
- Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for Montclair Film Festival
Jimmy Fallon (“The Tonight Show”) – $16 million
Robin Roberts (“Good Morning America”) – $18 million
- Jamie McCarthy/Getty
Kelly Ripa (“Live with Kelly & Ryan”) – $22 million
Katy Perry (“American Idol”) – $25 million
Matt Lauer (“Today”) – $25 million
- Jason Kempin/Getty
Judith Sheindlin (“Judge Judy”) – $47 million
- Stephen Lovekin/Getty
Ellen DeGeneres (“The Ellen DeGeneres Show”) – $50 million
- Jesse Grant/Getty Images