When you think of daytime television, you may think of talk shows and soaps, but for this article, we’ll focus more on the talk show stars. Each has their own style and approach granting them large offices. We won’t cover them all here, but let’s talk about some of the current top ones … Dr. Phil, Ellen, Wendy Williams, and Kelly Ripa. Of course, there are various talk shows with many hosts as well, but those may be the subject of a future article.
Interestingly, when you look at the top show hosts from night-time shows, if you add all of their salaries together, they still don’t hit the total of either Dr. Phil or Ellen, and all of them (individually) make less than Kelly Ripa.
Dr. Phil McGraw
Dr. Phil was first introduced on Oprah’s show as a recurring guest. Ultimately he found a niche in the talk show market and reigns at the top of the food chain with an estimated annual revenue of $88 million (2016). Dr. Phil has made statements over the years that he is unwilling to follow someone else’s plan, he does what works for him and lets the daytime chips fall where they may – that’s his basic PR plan. He recently signed with new management at UTA. He also has legal representation and on-staff publicist Anne Bradford, and CBS’s head of publicity – Kate Cafaro.
Ellen Degeneres started out as a comedian, then starred in a sitcom, where she eventually came out. Once the sitcom closed, she found her way to daytime talk. She does a fair share of talking with celebs, but many of her best-loved and most popular interviews are with children and youth, recognizing special talents or just personal approaches. Ellen garners an approximate $75 million annually (2016). She also has an estimated 3.6 million views per day of her show(s). Ellen’s publicist is Kelly Bush with I/D PR in West Hollywood.
Wendy Williams is a star – and she’s got a lot going on these days. She’s the star of the Wendy Williams Show where she talks with people, she has a clothing line sold on HSN, she and her husband have a charitable foundation (Hunter Foundation) with the purpose of making the lives of children and families better. Wendy is kind of like the female version of Dr. Phil in that she approaches her show as totally her way. She’s larger than life, she’s glamorous and she’s relatable through it all. As of earlier this year, her PR (for everything but the show itself) is handled by 5WPR in New York.
Kelly Ripa started in the soaps, is married to Mark Consuelos – who she met while acting on the soaps. Nice if you can marry the guy you already married on television! Along with acting, wife, and mom, she’s also a television producer and a dancer. She’s bubbly and perpetually smiling. Her show deals almost exclusively with celebrities, and she manages to have just enough sparkle in her eyes as she does a job she seems to really love – every minute. She’s represented by 42West – Entertainment Marketing Division and pulls in approximately $17 million annually.