Jon Stewart Tops Leno and Letterman as TV's Highest Paid Late Night Talk Show Host
He only does four 30-minute shows per week and has far-lower ratings than his competitors, yet Jon Stewart is now the highest paid late night talk show host in America.
According to TV Guide, the host of Comedy Central's Daily Show is now making $25-$30 million a year.
CBS's David Letterman and NBC's Jay Leno both make $20 million a year.
This sure seems bizarre given the fact that not only are Letterman and Leno both on the air far longer with shows twice as long as Stewart's, but also their ratings are far better than his.
In the week of May 20 thru May 24 prior to Stewart's long summer vacation, Leno averaged 3.5 million viewers per night; Letterman had 2.8 million.
By contrast, Stewart had only 1.5 million.
With twice the air time and almost twice the viewers, one would imagine the CBS Late Show and NBC Tonight Show command significantly greater advertising dollars than the Daily Show.
As such, this doesn't make a lot of sense, does it?
But neither does the person that appears to be the highest paid on television.
Hold on to your seats - according to TV Guide, Judy Sheindlin (Judge Judy) makes $47 million a year.