Simon Cowell Gets Paid Waaaay Too Much. Is That Why Paula Left?

American Idol” judge Simon Cowell is getting a huge raise. A year ago, he made a measly $36 million per season. Now, according to People, he’ll be taking home $45 mill a year. We find this particularly interesting because, as the New York Times reported today, one of the reasons Paula Abdul left “Idol”—besides resenting the fact that the network brought on Kara DioGuardi to be a second female judge and that her co-workers didn’t stand up for her during the drug-abuse allegations—was that they wouldn’t give her a raise from $3.5 million a year to $10 million a year. While Paula looks at other options, this got us thinking: How much do our favorite female television personalities make? And how do they stack up to Sir Simon’s mega paycheck?

  • In 2007, while Simon was dumpster diving in a desperate attempt to survive on his meager pay, Oprah was reportedly raking in $260 million per year. Everyone else, from Dr. Phil to Jessica Alba, ate her dust. [X17]
  • Simon Cowell should give some of his money to Tina Fey. This SNL mastermind supposedly made $4.6 million in 2008. Also, maybe Tina should be paying Sarah Palin for having provided her with so much comedy material. [Parade]
  • TV host Ellen DeGeneres banked a reported $5 million in 2007. Simon, help this poor woman out! []
  • I think being a judge, any kind of judge, is the most profitable job on TV. Judge Judy was allegedly getting $30 million in 2007. You’d have to pay me a lot more to sit in a room with the weirdos on her show. []
  • In 2008, Kelly Ripa made a reported $8 million for being blond co-hosting “Regis and Kelly.” Become a judge, Kelly. Trust me. [Parade]

Really? So, Oprah is the only major female TV star who makes more than Simon? No wonder Paula’s jetting. Good luck getting more from “So You Think You Can Dance,” Paula.