TV Guide‘s Stephen Battaglio and Michael Schneider tally up the highest-paid talent in television for this week’s magazine. The highest paid on-air individual in all of TV is syndicated judge “Judge Judy” Sheindlin, who rakes in an estimated $45 million a year for her eponymous program.
In the world of TV news, NBC “Today” co-anchor Matt Lauer leads the way, drawing an estimated $22-25 million every year. The highest-paid anchor on ABC News is “ABC World News” anchor Diane Sawyer, who pulls in an estimated $12 million a year, while “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley leads that network with $5 million a year.
On cable, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly is king, drawing an estimated $17 million a year, while MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow leads her channel with a $7 million a year deal. CNN’s Anderson Cooper tops that channel with an estimated $10 million a year deal.
Other notable names: Megyn Kelly’s new deal is estimated to be worth $6 million a year, twice what Hoda Kotb draws, and more than three times as much as ABC’s Josh Elliott. Ann Curry is still one of the highest-paid reporters at NBC, drawing $5 million a year, while Sarah Palin’s new FNC contract is believed to be in the $250,000 range.
Some excerpts can be read here, while the full list is in this week’s TV Guide.