How Much Does Ryan Seacrest Get Paid To Host ‘American Idol?’

Ryan Seacrest seems like one of the busiest men in the television industry. Between producing and hosting, he’s constantly all over the place. But let’s not forget where Seacrest came from: He got his first big break hosting American Idol way back in 2002. 17 years later, Seacrest is still coming back every season to host the show. How much does he get paid to return each year?

Ryan Seacrest
| Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

‘American Idol’ is where Seacrest got his start

Seacrest first came into the public eye way back in 2002, when American Idol began. At the time, he had taken the job along with co-host Brian Dunkleman. Dunkleman only stayed on the show for one season; Seacrest was able to host by himself for the remaining years. American Idol was one of the most popular shows of the decade, and Seacrest became the face of the show as the sole host, which put him on the map around the world. He had done some odd-job hosting in the years leading up to idol, but the show served as his big break.

Seacrest was making $15 million per year to host ‘Idol’ on Fox

With the success of American Idol came the demand for Seacrest to be making more money. During the middle of the show’s life, Seacrest was raking in around $5 million per year, not including things outside of Idol. But in his last contract before the series closed on Fox, the ante was upped. Seacrest made $45 million over three years, or $15 million per year to host the show that, by this time, had begun to see a dip in its weekly ratings. Between Idol  and his other business ventures, Seacrest made around $55 million for the year in 2011.

When ABC picked up the series, Seacrest took a pay cut of nearly $5 million

Although Fox was no longer going to host the show, it wasn’t the offical end of Idol’s life. ABC won the rights for an Idol reboot, and once again, Seacrest was eyed as the show’s host. But the network originally only offered him $5 million per year, which would have been a massive pay cut from what he was making on Fox. He walked away from the offer, and ABC came back with a number somewhere around $10 million (the exact figure is unknown). Seacrest accepted, and he would once again be the face of the show. His salary was relatively low compared to judge Katy Perry, who was paid a reported $25 million for her first season.

In addition to hosting the show, Seacrest has many other hosting and production ventures

Seacrest may be making around $10 million per year from Idol, but that’s hardly the majority of his income. He also hosts a radio show, On Air With Ryan Seacrest, as well as the American Top 40 weekly countdown. Plus, he produces Keeping Up With the Kardashians and is also responsible for all of the show’s spinoffs. Every year, he still hosts Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve, which nets him plenty of money as well. And day to day, he’s the host of Live! With Kelly and Ryan.

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