How Guy Fieri Became The Highest-Paid Chef On Cable TV | Building Fortunes | Forbes

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This episode of Building Fortunes takes a look at how Guy Fieri became cable TV’s highest-paid chef. The “Mayor of Flavortown”, recently signed a fresh contract with the Food Network for his popular Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and Guy’s Grocery Games. It will pay the celebrity chef $80 million over three years, a $50 million raise from his prior agreement.

The eight-figure deal makes the 53-year-old the top-paid chef on cable TV. His longest-running show Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, which has been on air since 2006, generated more than $230 million in 2020 ad revenue for the Food Network, according to data analytics firm Kantar.

“I got a chance of a lifetime,” Fieri recently told The Hollywood Reporter, stressing that his allegiance lies with specific Food Network executives and not its parent company, Discovery Networks. “I think I played it good.”

The size of the contract, which was signed last month, is surprising considering Discovery has a reputation for paying modest fees to even its most popular hosts. Fieri declined to comment on his TV earnings, which Forbes pegs at roughly $26 million a year. In comparison, celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse was paid around $8 million a year by the Food Network in the early 2000s, but that was unusual. These days the earnings for top talent on the network’s HGTV and flagship Discovery Channel is still usually capped at seven-figures.

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