Fired 'Today' host Matt Lauer's contract was reportedly worth $25 million a year —here's how that compares to other top TV show hosts

On Wednesday, NBC announced in shocking fashion while opening the "Today" show that its longtime host Matt Lauer had been fired due to "inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace."

This is the latest bombshell revelation of a powerful man in entertainment who has been taken down due to sexual misconduct allegations. 

Though it's too soon to tell what the ramifications will be for "Today" in the battle for morning ratings, it's clear NBC has lost one of its major players. That's evident by how much the company was paying him. 

Lauer, who has been a host on "Today" for 20 years, was earning $25 million a year, according to Variety.

The trade compiled the biggest estimated annual salaries of reality, news, and talk show hosts over the summer, and Lauer is in the top three on the list, which also includes the likes of Megyn Kelly, Ryan Seacrest, and Ellen DeGeneres.

Here are the top 20 paid hosts:

Salaries of top TV hosts
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Salaries of top TV hosts
Mike Myers (“The Gong Show”) - $3 million
Jamie Foxx (“Beat Shazam”) - $ 3 million
Alec Baldwin (“Match Game”) - $3 million

Hoda Kotb (“Today”) - $7 million 

Ryan Seacrest (“American Idol”) - $12 million
Conan O’Brien (“Conan”) - $12 million
David Letterman (Untitled Netflix Interview Show) - $12 million

Anderson Cooper (CNN) - $12 million
George Stephanopoulos (ABC News) - $15 million
Ryan Seacrest (“Live with Kelly & Ryan”) - $15 million
Pat Sajak (“Wheel of Fortune”) - $15 million
Jimmy Kimmel (“Jimmy Kimmel Live!”) - $15 million
Stephen Colbert (“The Late Show”) - $15 million
Jimmy Fallon (“The Tonight Show”) - $16 million
Robin Roberts (“Good Morning America”) - $18 million
Megyn Kelly (NBC News) - $18 million
Kelly Ripa (“Live with Kelly & Ryan”) - $22 million
Katy Perry (“American Idol”) - $25 million
Judith Sheindlin (“Judge Judy”) - $47 million
Ellen DeGeneres (“The Ellen DeGeneres Show”) - $50 million


Note: Some of these figures below include fees for producing and back-end compensation. 

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