August 8, 2013 / 8:47 PM / in 4 years

Cowell, Stern highest paid personalities on U.S. TV

NEW YORK (Reuters) - 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 on Thursday.

Judge Simon Cowell attends a panel for the television series "The X Factor" during the Fox portion of the Television Critics Association Summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California August 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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.

Forbes.com compiled the ranking and estimated earnings from entertainment-related work by talking to managers, producers and agents.

Two other women also made the top 10. Talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres was No. 9 with earnings of $56 million, and Judge Judy Sheindlin, whose court show is one of the most watched syndicated daytime programs, was tenth with $47 million.

The full list can be found at forbes.com

Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Mary Milliken and Philip Barbara

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