Matt Lauer’s firing from the Today Show amid allegations of sexual misconduct will likely have a significant financial impact on the morning show host—but he’s not likely to be destitute anytime soon.
In 2016, Lauer signed a two-year contract extension with NBC that reportedly set his salary at $20 million per year. That followed a 2014 agreement for the same sum, according to the New York Daily News, and a 2012 deal that set his annual paycheck at as much as $25 million per year. (Lauer and NBC disputed the 2012 figure.) Before 2012, he earned an annual salary of $17 million per year, according to TMZ.
At the time of the 2012 contract, then-NBC News president Steve Capus said of Lauer, “Matt is the franchise, and our franchise player has decided to keep leading our team.”
Not only was Lauer likely the top-paid anchor on network or cable television, he was among the top paid hosts of any type on TV, falling just shy of Ellen DeGeneres and Judge Judy Sheindlin. Celebrity Net Worth estimates his current net worth to be $80 million.
Beyond Today, Lauer has appeared in a number of motion pictures as himself, including Land of the Lost and Sharknado 2: The Second One along with NBC shows like Will & Grace. It’s unclear how much he was compensated for those appearances (or if he was able to be compensated, due to his position with the network).
In 2016, Lauer bought a 12-bedroom, 12-bath mansion in the Hamptons from Richard Gere for a reported $36.5 million. That purchase came shortly after he listed his own home in the area for $18 million.
With Lauer’s dismissal, Megyn Kelly seemingly becomes the highest-earning anchor on television, with a reported salary of between $15 million and $20 million.
While Lauer (and now Kelly) topped the news anchor field when it came to salaries, neither come close to Fox News’ Sean Hannity, who last year signed a deal bringing his annual salary to a whopping $29 million.