Simon Cowell and Howard Stern took the top two spots on Forbes’ list of the 100 highest earning entertainers. Cowell just beat out Stern for the top spot as each man reportedly took in a little over $95 million between June 2013 and June 2014.
Cowell topped the list for the second year in a row. There seems to be no end to all of the so called reality television programs which he created and owns. They are actually more game show than reality competition. Some are just for singers, like his first big hit American Idol which he co-hosted for years, while others are open talent competitions.
His X factor is shown in different forms in countries around the world. His record label, Syco, owns the rights to the music performed by the winners of all of Cowell’s different shows.
Then there is Cowell’s “Got Talent” franchise. This is the one degree of separation between Cowell and Stern. Howrd Stern serves as one of the hosts and judges of America’s Got Talent.
Stern reportedly earns $15 of his $95 million from that show. Most of the rest comes from his contract with satellite radio company Sirius/XM which ends in 2015. He also owns his own on demand television programming.
The self-proclaimed King of All Media (do not call him a shock jock, Stern hates that) will certainly take issue with Forbes’ estimate of his income. The 60 year old radio talk show host does not like it when he hears news reports that talk about how much money he actually earns. Stern has been known to go on a rant for an entire show in response to such speculation.
The two were followed by Glenn Beck at $90 million and Oprah Winfrey at $82 million.
Forbes explains that to compile the list it talked to agents, managers, lawyers and other “in-the-know folks” to come up with estimates for entertainment-related earnings for each celebrity. These were the gross earnings as It did not deduct for taxes, manager fees or the other costs of being a celebrity.