By Chuck Ross
When one reads stories about NBC’s suspended anchor Brian Williams the consensus seems to be that he makes $10 million a year.
The origin of this number, as far as I can determine, is this paragraph from a Los Angeles Times article that was published on Dec. 15, 2014:
“NBC News is expected to announce Monday that he has signed a new contract. Though Williams will acknowledge only that it’s a long-term deal, insiders at the network say it will keep him at the helm of the “NBC Nightly News” for at least five more years. He didn’t disclose his financial compensation, but it’s said to be more than $10 million a year.”
Note that the article says “more than $10 million a year.”
Less than two month later the L.A. Times was writing, “In December, he was rewarded with a five-year contract that pays him about $10 million a year.”
But is that correct? If you click on Celebrity Net Worth, it says in 2014 Williams’ salary was $13 million a year. It noted that he started in 2004 making $8 million a year, and was increased to $10 million a year by 2006.
However, a Boston Globe column from January 15, 2007, claims at that time Williams was making $6 million a year.
In its next year’s survey, published Aug. 10, 2011, TV Guide had Williams making $13 million a year. Three years later, on April 15, 2014, Politico wrote that “Brian Williams makes an estimated $13 million a year.”
In Jay Rosen’s respected Pressthink blog, reader Abe Maslow wrote this on March 16, 2015: “The previous contract for Williams, ending May 17, 2015, paid him $16.5 million in its last year.”
So how much does Brian Williams really make? Good question.