Forbes’ most powerful: Cowell ($80 million), DeGeneres ($55m), Trump ($50m), Seacrest ($41m), Klum ($16m)
Forbes has published its list of the 100 “richest and most powerful actors, actresses and musicians,” and it includes three of American Idol’s cast members, plus Donald Trump and Heidi Klum.
Of reality TV personalities, departing judge Simon Cowell and his $80 million a year salary are highest on the list, at #11, just behind Madonna, while the newest Idol judge, Ellen DeGeneres, is at #53 with an estimated $55 million annual salary from her talk show and other ventures.
Both are ahead of mogul and Apprentice star Donald Trump, who is at #33 with $50 million a year. Heidi Klum is the lowest-ranked of the most powerful reality TV stars, as she’s at #86 and makes about $16 million a year.
Ryan Seacrest is behind Trump at #41 with $51 million a year, and in a separate story, Forbes profiles him, noting that his “35 hours of weekly airtime” “reach 84 million people a week” and bring lots of cash: “$15 million a year from Idol” and $15 million from radio, plus $15 million from Comcast for his E! work and producing, never mind $5 million for product whoring.