Trump gets $65 million a year, report says; NBC calls that “grossly inaccurate”

Donald Trump will make $65 million a year over the next two years for his work on The Celebrity Apprentice, which is only part of the $160 million that NBC is paying the franchise’s other owner, Mark Burnett, for the show. If that’s accurate (Update: a statement below from NBC says that it is not), it means Trump gets the majority of the $80 million a year NBC pays for the series.

The New York Post reports that NBC Universal “agreed to pay Trump and co-producer Mark Burnett an estimated $160 million over two years, according to sources familiar with the contract” and Trump “will personally pocket $65 million a year, a substantial increase on his previous deal.”

That makes him easily the highest-paid reality TV star; Simon Cowell made $45 million a year from American Idol.

Update: NBC has, thankfully, commented about the story, saying in a statement released to Deadline that the figures are not accurate:

“The financial information reported today in regards to The Celebrity Apprentice is grossly inaccurate and has been significantly overstated. While it is our policy to keep financial information strictly confidential, neither the production costs of the show nor what Mr. Trump makes personally is in the realm of reality. Donald Trump and The Apprentice franchise remain a key part of the NBC primetime lineup and we are looking forward to another compelling cycle next season.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 37, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.