When Kathy Griffin appeared on Larry King Live last June she asked Mr. King, “What’s your annual salary?” He responded, “I can’t tell you that.” She went on to badger him with questions about whether or not he gets paid per show or bimonthly. Larry dodged her bullets but she got his attention when she said, “I can look it up online.” King was shocked.
Her comment made me curious at the time. I had heard that Larry King makes the big bucks but I’d never checked on exactly how much. Today, I decided to take a look and see if Ms. Griffin was right about finding Larry King’s salary online.
I started with a general web search. According to a 2002 New York Times article, “CNN Expected To Re-Sign Larry King,” Larry King signed a contract where he would start at $7 million a year, with an increase of $1 million annually. That would put him at about $14 million right now. Plus, he would receive stock options and plenty of benefits – including access to a private jet.
If Larry King is making $14 million a year or more then, by my standards, he’s doing just fine financially. But, what I think is even more impressive is that, according to an article in Britain’s The Independent, about Larry King and CNN salary deal, Mr. King was 68 years old back in 2002 when he signed that contract, which would make him around 75 now. Way to go, Mr. King.
But I digress… back to my celebrity salary search. After finding that initial article from 2002, I still only had a guess at what Mr. King makes. My next stop was Forbes’ The Celebrity Top 100 of 2008. Forbes’ list didn’t come up when I searched for “Larry King salary” but I figured that could have just been a search engine snafu.
But, there’s no mistake about it; Larry King isn’t on Forbes' Celebrity Top 100 list. What gives? Carrie Underwood made the list at only $9 million a year. And, Steve Carell is there with a measly $5 million. Hmm… the mystery continues. Is Mr. King quietly keeping himself off the list by pulling strings? Can this guy just not talk salary? Or, has his salary dropped? Unlikely.
The question remains: Where can I find Larry King’s salary online? If you know, write back. Ms. Griffin, if you’re out there and could give us the scoop, feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks.