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Hudson Valley celebs among TV's top earners
It pays to be a TV star -- especially if you have a connection to the Hudson Valley. TV Guide has released its annual list of TV’s highest-paid stars, and local celebs are among the ones making the highest salaries on the small screen.
The Hudson Valley’s biggest moneymaker is David Letterman. The North Salem resident earns an impressive $28 million per year, making him the highest-paid late night host. Rival Jay Leno, a New Rochelle native, also has a sizable paycheck, earning $25 million annually.
Like late night, the highest-paid star in TV news is also a local celebrity. Matt Lauer, who spent most of his childhood in Westchester County, makes $21.5 million per year for hosting the “Today” show.
Over in reality TV, new “American Idol” judge and former Bedford resident Mariah Carey will earn $17 million per season. And Howard Stern, who began his professional career as a DJ at 107.1 FM in Westchester County's Briarcliff Manor, nets $15 million per season as a judge on “America’s Got Talent.”
Two other stars on the list with Hudson Valley ties: Kevin Bacon, who was seen filming his new show, “The Following,” in Bronxville this week, earns $175,000 per episode, and Judge Judy (real name Judy Sheindlin) earns an astounding $45 million a year on her syndicated court show. Her son, Adam Levy, is the District Attorney of Putnam County.
And although not a Hudson Valley star, we can't resist including the salary of Crystal the Monkey, who appears in the new NBC comedy "Animal Practice." Crystal earns $12,000 an episode. That's a whole lot of bananas!
Tags: North Salem , New Rochelle , Westchester , Bedford , Briarcliff Manor , Bronxville , Putnam County , David Letterman , Jay Leno , Matt Lauer , Mariah Carey , Howard Stern , Kevin Bacon , Judge Judy , salaries , TV