Top 20 highest paid TV hosts and their net worth in 2022

Top 20 highest paid TV hosts and their net worth in 2022

Live television shows are undoubtedly some of the most popular programs in the modern-day entertainment industry. These shows span a wide range of topics, some of the most popular ones being comedy, political commentary, sports, and lifestyle. The success of such shows is largely determined by the person at the helm, the TV show host. As with other sectors of the TV industry, some hosts rake in quite a fortune. Who are the highest paid TV hosts, and how much do they earn?

highest paid talk show host
Photos of some of the highest-paid TV hosts. Photo: Charles Sykes, Chris Haston, Lloyd Bishop, Nathan Congleton, Christopher Polk, Kevin Mazur (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Typically, a talk show host carries their audience through a series of discussions and sets the theme and tone of the conversation. This makes the host an essential part of the entire talk show. So, who is the highest paid TV personality today?

The highest paid TV hosts in 2021

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Who is the highest paid talk show host in 2021, and how much do they earn? Here is a look at the 20 highest paid television show hosts, their annual salaries, and current net worth.

20. Craig Ferguson

highest paid tv personality
Craig Ferguson smiling. Photo: Ron Batzdorff
Source: Getty Images

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  • Age: 59 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: May 17 1962
  • Net worth: $30 million
  • Annual salary: $8.5 million

Craig Ferguson is an American writer, director, producer, comedian, and actor. He was born in Scotland before relocating to the United States. Ferguson is best known for his role as the former host of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, a famous Emmy Award-nominated talk show that aired on CBS for 11 seasons.

Craig received an annual salary of $8.5 million while working at the CBS show.

19. James Corden

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highest paid talk show host
James Corden arrives to the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at the Microsoft Theater on September 17, 2018. Photo: Charles Sykes
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 43 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: August 22 1978
  • Net worth: $70 million
  • Annual salary: $9 million

James Kimberley Corden is a British TV personality, writer, actor, and comedian renowned for his self-deprecating humour and general likeability. After gaining recognition, success, and a massive fanbase in the United Kingdom, Corden landed a role as the host of The Late Late Show with James Corden.

The show is currently in its seventh season. Corden reportedly earns about $9 million per year from the show.

18. Chelsea Handler

richest talk show host
Chelsea Handler accepts The Comedy Act of 2021 award for ‘Vaccinated and Horny Tour’ on stage during the 2021 People's Choice Awards held at Barker Hangar. Photo: Chris Haston
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 46 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: February 25, 1975
  • Net worth: $35 million
  • Annual salary: $10 million

Chelsea is an American author, actress, comedian, and talk show host best known for her hosting role in Chelsea Lately. Besides TV hosting, Chelsea has also appeared on various Netflix television shows. In 2012, she was named as one of the 100 most influential people by Time Magazine.

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The television host reportedly earns $10 million per year as salary for her role on Chelsea Lately.

17. Wendy Williams

who is the highest paid tv personality
Wendy Williams arrives to a show on September 12, 2019. Photo: Lloyd Bishop
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 57 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: July 18, 1964
  • Net worth: $40 million
  • Annual salary: $10 million

Wendy was born in Asbury Park, New Jersey. She is a media personality, television host, and businesswoman best known for hosting the syndicated TV talk show, The Wendy Williams Show, since 2008.

Before joining television, Wendy was a popular radio DJ in New York. Her current salary is estimated to be $10 million annually.

16. Conan O’Brien

who is the highest paid talk show host
Comedian Conan O'Brien speaks during a Sony Corp. event ahead of the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California, U.S. Photo: Ron Batzdorff
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 58 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: April 18, 1963
  • Net worth: $150 million
  • Annual salary: $12 million

Conan Christopher O’Brien is a comedian and late-night talk show host. He is best known for his roles on The Tonight Show (2010-current) and Late Night with Conan O’Brien (1993–2009). He currently hosts the show Conan on TBS, where he reportedly earns $12 million annually in salaries.

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15. Anderson Cooper

who is the highest paid talk show host
Anderson Cooper looking all happy. Photo: Charles Sykes
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 54 years
  • Birthday: June 3, 1967
  • Net worth: $50 million
  • Annual salary: $12 million

Anderson Cooper is an American author, journalist and television show host best known for hosting CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°. Cooper reportedly earns an annual salary of $12 million on the show. The TV host was born into a prominent New York family. His mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, was the heiress of a wealthy man, while his father, Wyatt Emory, was a prominent writer.

Cooper’s television career began when he landed a role as a fact-checker for Channel One News, a program that used to be broadcast in numerous American high and middle schools.

14. Jimmy Kimmel

highest paid talk show host
Jimmy Kimmel appearing in a show. Photo: Charles Sykes
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 54 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: November 13, 1967
  • Net worth: $50 million
  • Annual salary: $15 million

Jimmy Kimmel is famous for his hugely popular late-night comedy talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live. He has hosted the show since 2003, making it one of the longest-running late-night comedy talk shows hosted by a single person.

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Before Jimmy Kimmel Live, the media personality used to co-host The Man Show and Win Ben Stein’s Money show. Besides hosting television talk shows, Kimmel is also a comedian and producer.

13. Jay Leno

richest talk show host
Jay Leno poses for portrait at BritWeek's Luxury Car Rally Co-Hosted By The Petersen Automotive Museum at Petersen Automotive Museum on November 14, 2021 in Los Angeles. Photo: Rodin Eckenroth
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 71
  • Birthday: April 28, 1950
  • Net worth: $450 Million
  • Annual salary: $15 Million

James Douglas Muir Leno, popularly known as Jay Leno, was born in New Rochelle, New York. He is a writer, comedian, and television show host best known for hosting The Tonight Show on two separate stints (1992-2009 and 2010-2014).

After starting out as a standup comedian, Leno landed his first television talk show hosting job in 1992. To date, Leno still performs standup comedy, albeit occasionally. Besides his lengthy television career, some of Leno’s fans know him for his valuable car collection that spans more than 300 vehicles.

12. Stephen Colbert

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highest paid tv personality
Stephen Colber gesturing. Photo: Charles Sykes
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 57 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: May 13, 1964
  • Net worth: $75 million
  • Annual salary: $15 million

Stephen was born in Charleston, South Carolina and was the youngest of 11 children. He is an American author, writer, comedian, actor, and television host. He is best known for hosting the Comedy Central Show between 2005 and 2014 and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert from 2015 to date.

His current annual salary at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is reportedly about $15 million.

11. Jon Stewart

highest paid talk show host
Jon Stewart, winner of Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series. Photo: Chris Haston
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 59 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: November 28, 1962
  • Net worth: $120 million
  • Annual salary: $25 million

Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz is an American director, writer, comedian, and television host renowned for his role as host on The Daily Show from 1999 to 2015. Before he departed from the show, he used to earn an annual salary of $25 million.

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10. Bill O’Reilly

who is the highest paid tv personality
Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Photo: Nathan Congleton
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 72 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: September 10, 1949
  • Net worth: $85 million
  • Annual salary: $25 million

Bill’s full name is William James O’Reilly. He was born in New York, USA, and is a radio personality, political commentator, and television host. He is best known for his stint at the FNC television show The O’Reilly Factor.

Before then, he used to co-anchor a syndicated news program known as The Inside Edition.

9. Tyra Banks

who is the highest paid talk show host
Tyra Banks on Monday, February 24, 2020. Photo: Nathan Congleton
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 49 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: December 4, 1973
  • Net worth: $90 million
  • Annual salary: N/A

Most people probably know Tyra for her hosting role on the reality television series America’s Next Top Model. Born Tyra Lynne Banks in Inglewood, California, the television host has also appeared as the face of CoverGirl and Victoria’s Secret.

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From 2005 to 2010, banks hosted The Tyra Banks Show. Her current net worth is about $90 million, making her one of the 20 richest TV show hosts today.

8. Steve Harve

who is the highest paid tv personality
Television host Steve Harvey smiles during a Bloomberg Television interview at the Skybridge Alternatives (SALT) conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Photo: Tom Cooper
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 64 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: January 17, 1957
  • Net worth: $200 million
  • Annual salary: $45 million

Steve Harvey is an American businessman, comedian, and award-winning television show host. He is best known for hosting The Steve Harvey Morning Show, Celebrity Family Feud, and Family Feud. Harvey was born in Welch, West Virginia.

Besides his hugely popular television shows, Harvey is also renowned by his fans for his well-thought pieces of advice, especially about romantic relationships.

7. Sean Hannity

richest talk show host
Sean Hannity, host at Fox News, broadcasts from the Republican National Convention at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S. Photo: Kevin Winter
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 60 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: December 30, 1961
  • Net worth: $250 million
  • Annual salary: $45 million

Sean Hannity is an American author, conservative political commentator, and television host. He is best known for hosting the Fox News Channel show Hannity and the radio show The Sean Hannity Show. Sean used to co-host the Hannity & Colmes show from 1996 to 2009.

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The TV host reportedly earns a whopping $45 million yearly salary.

6. Judy Sheindlin

who is the highest paid tv personality
Judge Judy Sheindlin, with her Lifetime Achievement Award, attends the 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in Pasadena, California. Photo: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 79 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: October 21, 1942
  • Net worth: $440 million
  • Annual salary: $47 million

Most of her fans know her as ‘Judge Judy.’ Sheindlin was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is renowned as the American jurist and court judge on the show Judge Judy that has been airing since 1996. Judy has been nominated for the Daytime Emmy Award 14 times.

The renowned television host reportedly makes $47 million per year from the show. Her current net worth is estimated to be about $440 million.

5. David Letterman

highest paid talk show host
David Letterman speaks onstage during the 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony at Barclays Center on April 7, 2017. Photo: Kevin Mazur
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 74 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: April 12, 1947
  • Net worth: $400 Million
  • Annual salary: $50 Million

Letterman was born in Indianapolis, Indiana and is renowned for hosting The Late Show with David Letterman. Besides television show hosting, David is also an accomplished comedian and producer. In past years, the TV host was said to earn about $50 million per year in syndication and license fees.

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4. Ryan Seacrest

who is the highest paid talk show host
Ryan Seacrest speaks onstage during iHeartRadio 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2021 presented by Capital One at The Forum on December 03, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Kevin Winter
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 47 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: December 24, 1974
  • Net worth: $450 million
  • Annual salary: $75 million

Ryan John Seacrest is an American producer, radio show host, and TV host who rose to fame when he hosted American Idol. Some of the other notable shows he has hosted include American Top 40 and On Air with Ryan Seacrest.

Besides hosting, Ryan is also an executive producer on the show Keeping up with the Kardashians and its various spinoffs. His current salary is reported to be $75 million.

3. Ellen DeGeneres

highest paid tv personality
Ellen DeGeneres accepts the award for The Daytime Talk Show of 2020 onstage for the 2020 E! People's Choice Awards held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. Photo: Christopher Polk
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 64 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: January 26, 1958
  • Net worth: $500 million
  • Annual salary: $75 million

Ellen Lee DeGeneres was born in Metairie, Louisiana. She is a television show host and comedian, best known for her observational humour and role on the massively popular program, The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

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She is also widely associated with the sitcom Ellen that aired from 1994 to 1998. Ellen is said to earn an annual salary of $75 million at her current show.

2. Phil McGraw

who is the highest paid talk show host
CBS announced today that the new one-hour primetime series, HOUSE CALLS WITH DR. PHIL, will premiere Wednesday, August 18. Photo: Nathan Congleton
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 71 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: September 1, 1950
  • Net worth: $460 million
  • Annual salary: $80 million

Phillip Calvin McGraw was born in Vinita, Oklahoma. He is a television show host, author, and psychologist who rose to fame following his appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show as well as the hugely popular daytime talk show, Dr Phil.

Phil is said to earn about $80 million per year from his television hosting job.

1. Oprah Winfrey

who is the highest paid tv personality
Oprah Winfrey speaks during Oprah's 2020 Vision: Your Life in Focus Tour presented by WW (Weight Watchers Reimagined) at Pepsi Center on March 07, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. Photo: Tom Cooper
Source: Getty Images
  • Age: 67 years (as of 2021)
  • Birthday: January 29, 1954
  • Net worth: $2.6 billion
  • Annual salary: $300 million

Who is the highest paid talk show host? Apart from being the richest talk show host on this list, Oprah Winfrey also happens to be the highest paid TV personality in 2021. The former news anchor launched her own cable channel known as OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), in which she now owns a 25.5% stake.

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According to Forbes, Winfrey’s net worth is about $2.6 billion. In 2015, she purchased a 10% stake in Weight Watchers, a company dealing in personalized weight loss programs. She has since reduced her stake to 7%. She is said to earn about $300 million per year.

Daytime and late-night television talk shows have become increasingly popular. This is underlined by the colossal figures that the highest paid TV hosts earn each year. With everything from politics, sports, health and wellness, the talk show industry keeps growing.

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