Lawrence O’Donnell: How Much Is MSNBC’s ‘Last Word’ Anchor Worth?

In the Trump era, as stories 24 hours a day and networks never go off the air, cable-news hosts have become a fixture in households like never before. That’s especially true at MSNBC, which has mounted the biggest challenge to Fox News in years.

At 9 p.m., MSNBC boasts the most-watched program on cable news, The Rachel Maddow Show. Maddow’s success has also meant great things for the show in the 10 o’clock slot, The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.

In the first five weeks of 2019, Lawrence nailed down the top spot in the ratings as well. Since what’s bad for Trump tends to be good for MSNBC, there doesn’t appear to be any stopping his show.

However, O’Donnell’s run at MSNBC since 2010 is probably not his biggest success in show business. The anchor won an Emmy for his producing work in 2001 and has been nominated for a WGA award for his writing. Here’s a look at his career and net worth in 2019.

Lawrence’s ‘West Wing’ success and multimillion-dollar MSNBC salary

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Lawrence O’Donnell during Thursday’s July 12, 2018 show. | Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images

While Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing has legions of fans and its fair share of critics, no one debates whether it was a success. In its seven seasons on NBC, the show won dozens of Emmys and made boatloads of cash in advertising revenue for the network.

O’Donnell was a key figure behind the scenes. He has writing credits on eight episodes and served as a producer on 44 episodes. In 2001, he shared a Primetime Emmy with the other producers for his work on the show.

Lawrence also made his screen-acting debut on West Wing. Over the years, he’s piled up 21 credits playing himself or other characters on shows like HBO’s Big Love and the film The Campaign (2012) with Zach Galifianakis.

However, Lawrence’s most consistent payday this decade has been his MSNBC show. According to reports, he earns $4 million per year for his work on The Last Word. This list of his work projects makes it easy to see how he built up his fortune.

O’Donnel’s net worth estimated at $16-$18 million

Lawrence O’Donnell speaks onstage at Politicon 2018 at Los Angeles Convention Center on October 20, 2018. | Michael S. Schwartz/Getty Images

While his MSNBC salary might not be what Brian Williams makes, Lawrence does very well for himself in what has been a hit show for the network. After a tense salary renegotiation in 2017, fans rejoiced when they learned he was returning to his 10 p.m. slot.

O’Donnell’s success in TV has made him a millionaire many times over. A few years ago, Celebrity Net Worth pegged his fortune at $16 million. Given his new contract and elevated ratings, it’s likely his net worth has crept past that figure in 2019.

So will we see more film and TV writing work from Lawrence in the near-future? It’s possible, but he seems busy enough appearing as himself on TV. Besides, his fans on MSNBC complain when he even takes a week off.

And he really seems to enjoy himself whenever Trump has a bad week — which has been true for most of 2019.

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