Wednesday, September 2, 2009

David Letterman: Bringing home the big bucks

Oprah and Dr. Phil may have topped Forbes' list of the 10 top-earning talk show hosts, but David Letterman is King of Late Night -- when it comes to making money, at least.

The "Late Show" host rakes in $45 million a year, according to the business mag. Part of that big money comes from the fact that his Worldwide Pants owns his program, along with "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson."

Number four, Ellen DeGeneres ($35 million), gets a boost from her appearances in ads for American Express and CoverGirl. Jay Leno's yearly take is estimated at $32 million -- that would buy a lot of classic cars, if Leno actually spent any of his TV earnings (Jay has famously declared that he lives off the proceeds of his stand-up earnings: "I've never touched a dime of my TV money, ever"). Then we have Tyra Banks, Regis Philbin, and a tie between Rachael Ray and Conan O'Brien (though Conan will probably move up on the list next year now that he's helming "Tonight" -- Forbes' pay period only covers his tenure at 12:30 AM).

Coming in at number 10 is Jon Stewart. The basic cable host is making a lot of bucks from the success of his Busboy Productions, which produces two other shows for Comedy Central, "The Colbert Report" and "Important Things with Demetri Martin."


  1. Keonyn said...

    Poor Craig, of the late night hosts only he and Kimmel didn't even make the list.

    No, Daly doesn't count and if this list only sees Conan at his 12:30 spot, then I can imagine Fallon isn't even considered for it.

  2. Anonymous said...

    I dont feel sorry for Craig Ferguson or any of the ppl who didnt make the list. Because at the end of the day, ALL of these hosts, make a shitload of money. Maybe not as much as the top 10 earners, but still a shitload compared to the average person.

    Im sure the people at number 12 or 15 on the list are not exactly hurting for cash and living off foodstamps, so yeah.


  3. Anonymous said...

    Santiago--Agreed completely.

    Plus letterman deserves the money coz he has been successful late night host since early 80's--his show has consistently made profits for nbc in 80's and cbs now. he has changed the late night tv format--let the way for conan, stewart, kimmel, colbert, craig and many more.
    another reason he make that kinda money is because he owns the production company.
    so well deserved.