The Spinning Wheel Of Gameshow Hosts



Hope everyone had a good week!
We made it, Fourth of July is on the clock. I hope everyone enjoys the vacation wearing nothing but America themed swimsuits. This weekend should be a real test to those boycotting Bud Light, let’s see if they have the strength to hold out.
I’ll be taking all of next week off, so don’t expect to hear anything.

Enjoy Retirement

Well, if you are someone who enjoys stability, then this week just isn’t for you. Pat Sajak has decided to hang up the cleats after 40 years as host of Wheel of Fortune, parting ways with Vanna White and making way for Ryan Seacrest, who will have big shoes to fill.
He is one of a few big-name game show hosts that have called it quits in recent years, and unlike Alex Trebek whose retirement home is six feet under, I’m sure he will enjoy a relaxing retirement after amassing over $70 million in lifetime earnings.
Who’s next? Steve Harvey?

Can’t Cut The Cord On Gameshows

Most of us know that cord cutting has become a real problem for traditional cable providers, with most people now opting into streaming services for convenience and price.
But even with this blossoming phenomenon, the US demand for game shows, which are usually associated with cable TV, has grown.
To me, this is slightly counterintuitive because streaming allows people to switch and select shows, whereas with cable these gameshows directly follow the news or something else important, essentially trapping you in and capturing viewership.
But the data says otherwise, and a lot of the increase in demand has to do with the host.

For The First Time Ever, Hosting Rocks

The hosts, make the show. They curate the vibe, provide a sense of stability among the rotating door of contestants, and make the show what it is. Once shows find one who works, they typically stick with them for a long time.
Which gives the host leverage to negotiate a salary that is pretty much whatever they want. Pick a number, any number.
I mentioned Sajak’s lifetime earnings of $70 million, but here are some other jaw droppers.
  • Vanna White makes $4 million a year, $20,000 an episode, and about $400 per letter she reveals.
  • Jeff Probst earns $8 million a year and $200,000 per episode to travel to some of the hottest vacation spots in the world.
  • Steve Harvey makes $10 million dollars per year.
  • Ken Jennings and Mayam Bialik make $1 million a year, each.
The hosts typically make more than competitors get for winning.
Unless you’re Ken Jennings who has a few more years before he catches up to the $4.5 million he won as a contestant.

But Here’s The Best Part

The best part is, they film nearly all the episodes within a month or two. For example, Wheel of Fortune is only filmed 4 days out of the month, so the hosts get that kind of salary for just 48 working days. They have more vacation than European holiday calendars.

These perks have made becoming a host very competitive.

I mean, let’s be honest, anyone would kill for that job.

That’s why you see Ken and Mayam still duking it out for the host of Jeopardy after Aaron Rodgers failed to make the cut (for Jeopardy, not the Jets).

But Wheel of Fortune was quick to name Seacrest as the successor, so maybe there’s just something about him. Personally, Wheel of Fortune has never been my show.


Starter Story

One of the places I go to for inspiration when it comes to ideas and big business trends is Starter Story. Imagine being able to ask any founder a question. Now multiply that by a thousand, and you have what Starter Story offers. Thousands of case studies for thousands of businesses, which is something you can’t really put a price tag on. Pat and Sam are the dream team, I know from experience, so go check them out.

Final Thoughts

The evolution of gameshows has been interesting. We’ve witnessed several of the streaming services lean more towards creating reality show-gameshow hybrids like Too Hot To Handle, etc. but none of them have been able crack the impenetrable barrier to classic American gameshows.

It’s hard to disrupt something that’s been going on since before we were born.

For me? I haven’t missed an episode of Jeopardy in months, and don’t plan to anytime soon.
Let’s have ourselves a holiday weekend!

from, matt

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