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Thomas Tennant

Cash Cows! Talk Shows Hosts Rake in the Bucks

By October 1, 2007

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Forbes recently released its list of top 20 TV money makers, and who should sit atop the list than our very own Oprah Winfrey, whose $260 million paycheck knocked all others off the hill.

Oprah isn’t the only talk show host who made the list. Quite a few of our chatters are sitting on pots of gold.

David Letterman, host of the Late Show, took in $40 million in the No. 4 spot. His chief “rival,” Jay Leno, host of The Tonight Show, was just two notches down, at No. 6, with $32 million.

Right behind Jay, Dr. Phil McCraw, host of Dr. Phil, serving up $30 million dollars worth of sage – and ratings hungry – advice.

Positions No. 11 through 13 were filled by talk show hosts: Regis Philbin (Live with Regis and Kelly) making $21 million, Tyra Banks (The Tyra Banks Show) depositing $18 million in the bank, and Rachael Ray (The Rachael Ray Show) bringing home $16 million in bacon.

Sliding down to No. 15 is the afternoon’s most lovable host, Ellen DeGeneres, whose Ellen DeGeneres Show -- among other projects, no doubt – as her dancing to the tune of $15 million.

Three journalists with talk show chops make up the final three: No. 18’s Barbara Walters (The View) with $12 million, technically tied with Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer (No. 19). Rounding out the list, The Today Show’s Meredith Vieira, making due with $10 million.

Hey, she’s not that far from No. 1. Vieira just needs to make 26 times as much as she does now!


October 8, 2007 at 10:32 am
(1) Peggy says:

I think the amount of money that these people are getting paid is way too much. There are people out in the real world that are lucky to make $15,000 a year.

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