Top TV news salaries: Matt Lauer's $17M a year

matt-lauer-getty-320.jpg Matt Lauer, longtime anchor of NBC's "Today" show, who has seen two strong co-hosts ( Katie Couric and Meredith Vieira) come and go on his watch, is the guy with the salary to beat when it comes to TV News.

According to TV Guide's upcoming salary issue, Lauer makes $17 million a year to greet NBC viewers each morning and make his yearly "Where in the World is Matt Lauer" jaunt. Brian Williams, Lauer's network mate who anchors the evening news broadcast, clocks in at $13 million with ABC's Diane Sawyer close on his heels at $12 million.

On the cable side of the top earners club: CNN's Anderson Cooper, who will make $11 million for hosting "AC 360" and his upcoming daytime show "Anderson," topped his peers. Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann each get $10 million per year, at Fox News Channel and Current TV respectively.

Not that there haven't been cuts. Before she left CBS, Couric reportedly had a $65 million five-year contract and, according to TV Guide, Piers Morgan gets "half" of what his predecessor, Larry King, was paid.

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