Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest Top 5 – Forbes Highest Paid TV Hosts

Another fun earnings list from Forbes Magazine. Today we have the top earning TV hosts. Simon Cowell comes in 2nd, with No. 4, Ryan Seacrest gaining on his ex-coworker (Ryan’s earnings are up 20% this year).

Oprah, in 1st place, earns over 3 times more than Simon does. Check out the deets below. Read more at Forbes Magazine.

1. Oprah Winfrey – 290 milllion
2. Simon Cowell – 90 million
3. Dr. Phil McGraw – 80 million
4. Ryan Seacrest – 61 million
5. Donald Trump – 60 million
6. Bethany Frankel – 55 million
7. (Tie) Ellen Degeneres, David Letterman, Judge Judy Sheindlin – 45 million
8. Glen Beck – 40 million

Ryan Seacrests earnings are up 20% since last year’s list. A breakdown of his earnings: Clear Channel Radio ($20 million a year), Idol parent CKX ($15 million) and the Comcast Entertainment Group ($15 million).

To compile our earnings numbers we talked to agents, lawyers, producers and other industry insiders to come up with an estimate for what each personality earned between May 1, 2010 and May 1, 2011. Earnings consist of pretax gross income. Management, agent and attorney fees are not deducted.

Follow Me!

mj santilli

Founder/Editor at
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted.I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!
Follow Me!

  • Reflections On Life

    bethany frankel? wow.

  • abbysee

    Bethenny! Cool, love her, she actually took that low brow housewives crap and made it into something without embarrassing herself or recording some shitty pop tune. Good for her!

  • Listening

    Okay for Ryan does that include like producer money for his tv shows the Kardashians.

    Ryan’s story is just amazing from humble begins as well basically comic relief of American Idol season 1 to his empire and 61 million. I mean he wasn’t even the sole host he was a co-host really impressive still don’t know how he did it. I guess determination.

  • harvestmoon

    I would love to see Ryan top Simon someday. If the X-Factor doesn’t take off like it’s supposed to, that just might happen sooner rather than later.

    And I have no idea who Bethany Frankel is.

  • EmyR

    And I have no idea who Bethany Frankel is.

    She’s best know as one of the original cast memebers the Real Housewives of New York City, but she’s also had two spin off reality shows from that, was on the Marta Stewart version of The Apprentice as well as Skating with the Stars, and is a successful chef, author, and business woman. If you’ve ever heard of SkinnyGirl books, food, or cocktails, those are hers.

  • briguyx

    It will be interesting to see how far Oprah falls in the standings next year with the end of her syndicated show. That’s the cash cow!

  • marco5ny

    Bethany Frankel started the SkinnyGirl cocktail brand about 18 months ago and reportedly sold it for 120 million. Looks like the earlier reports might have been inflated but clearly she did pretty well for about 2 years of hard work.

  • luvadamlambert