Simon Cowell, the acerbic judge on The X Factor talent show, tied for first place as the highest-paid personality on U.S. television with America’s Got Talent judge Howard Stern, Forbes.com said recently.
Cowell, 53, jumped from third place last year, while Stern moved up from No. 2. Both earned an estimated $95 million for the year up to June 2013, putting them ahead of conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, at $90 million.
Forbes.com described Cowell as a major behind-the-scenes mogul. “The X Factor is now on in 41 countries and his Got Talent is the biggest-selling television franchise in the world,” it said.
Stern, 59, is making plenty from his SiriusXM radio show and is paid a reported $15 million as one of four judges on America’s Got Talent.
Oprah Winfrey, 59, dropped from first place last year to fourth with $77 million, followed by talk-show host and author Dr. Phil McGraw, who hauled in an estimated $72 million and rounded out the top five.
Although her long-running syndicated talk show has ended, Winfrey’s OWN television network looks set to make a profit this year, and she also earns money through TV spin-offs such as Dr. Phil and Rachel Ray, produced by her Harpo Productions company, Forbes.com said.