Tuesday, June 30, 2009

$144M For Being A Judge On American Idol


The NY Post is reporting that salary figures for Simon Cowell's renewal of his American Idol contract are leaking. This past year he made $36M for his five months of work being a judge on Idol. For his next contract he would like a raise to the tune of $144M for his five months on the show. Umm, that is a ridiculous f**king amount of money for someone who speaks about 6 minutes for every hour he is on the air. To be fair, lets say there are about 25 episodes of Idol. In addition to those there are the audition cities where Simon has to put in almost an 8 hour day four or five times with only cigarette breaks, lunch breaks, coffee breaks and whatever breaks he wants.

Then there are the Hollywood days and then the show itself. Lets see if we can get a total for all of this.

We will be very conservative.

10 audition days at 8 hours a day equals 80 hours.
4 Hollywood days at 8 hours a day equals 32 hours.
25 shows at 4 hours a show equals 100 hours.
Promotions, press for the show equals 20 hours.

Total hours on the show 232 hours over the course of five months. Salary $144M which equals about $620,000 an hour. Minimum wage varies in the United States from state to state, but in California it is $8 an hour unless you work in San Francisco.

At $8 an hour, it would take a worker 77,500 hours just to make what Simon is going to make for one hour working on American Idol. The average number of hours worked in a year for most people is 2,000.

What this means is that if you are a minimum wage earner in California and work 40 hours a week for 39 years you will earn what Simon Cowell earns for one hour of judging American Idol. This doesn't sound very fair does it? And remember my estimates were conservative. Plus, the work that minimum wage earner is performing is much harder than saying, "I didn't like it." Oh, and the minimum wage earner probably doesn't have health insurance either and probably can't afford to go anywhere on their two weeks of vacation each year, if they even get any vacation.

29 comments:

Christine said...

Enty, you should see if we could get together a collection for people who don't want to see or hear about Simon Cowell again. I bet you would raise a lot more money than you think. I'd pay $144 to get him out of my life. Just sayin'.

Billy Hatcher Cheats said...

Yeah, but I can't imagine that 40 million people would tune in to watch a minimum-wage earner wash dishes or wait tables or mow my lawn. Those who work them deserve our respect and gratitude...but as far as how much $$ they deserve, the market does a better job of determining that. $8/hour.

Fox is gonna pay Cowell $144mm...AND make a ton of money. Or not pay Cowell....AND not make that money.

KellyLynn said...

Would they tune in to watch a minimum-wage earner give asinine opinions every week? I'm betting there could be someone out there who's cheaper and could do just as well at being a jerk.

Billy Hatcher Cheats said...

Whether what Simon Cowell says is asinine is not the point.

What is the point is that American Idol is the No. 1 show in the U.S. for years.

Now, it's easy to say, ditch him and find a replacement for 1% of Simon's cost when it's not your business on the line and not your potential millions on the line.

But then again, would you take that huge of a risk when you can just pay him this rate and still make hundreds of millions of dollars?

A Pimp Named DaveR said...

I'm with Billy Hatcher here. What's the issue?

If you knew that 300M Americans would collectively pay $400B to listen to you -- and only you -- reading the phone book... how much would you want to get paid for reading the phone book? And what would the salary of a schoolteacher in Dubuque have to do with that?

We can bitch and moan all we want about how little teachers and firefighters and short-order fry cooks are paid, but the reality is those talents ARE NOT UNIQUE. Cowell's contribution to "Idol" -- and the talents of Alex Rodriguez, or Madonna, or Burt Bachrach, or Mark Rothko -- ARE unique, and that uniqueness means they can command a much, much higher premium for their services than someone who does a job that virtually anyone could do would be able to command. That's economics.

McDooks said...

Sorry, but that's just gross. Making the world a better, safer place may not be a "unique" talent, but theamount of money in question here is just fuckin' obscene.
I'm married to a cop, so to me the fact that my husband puts his life on the line to help others, and this twat just runs his mouth over crazy wannabes' performances, it is just waaay twisted and hard to stomach.
Fuck it, I don't watch that crap anyway.

Jeannies Bottle said...

I think it's worth 144 mill. to have Cowell NOT be on the show.

jax said...

well fuck that, let's just give all that money to the inventor of AutoTune, he's the hardest working mofo in the biz.

Sorry Dave, but what is unique about being a pretentious english dick who fell in the right job at the right time? Anyone with an accent and an acid tongue can do it. If his only unique talent is being famous for being a pretentious english prick....well sign Hugh Grant and Gordon Ramsay up!

KellyLynn said...

Actually, a good teacher, firefighter or short-order cook is unique. They just don't get paid any more than those who are mediocre.

Making more money doesn't necessarily mean being better or more talented or more unique. If that were true, people like Denise Richards would be living on the streets. Making more money just means someone knows how to network and negotiate.

Simon's "talents" are not unique. He gets paid what he does just because people know him. If there was someone else sitting there being an ass every week, the whole world would know them too.

ms_wonderland said...

Simon Cowell part owns the show, and all the others as well. Fox are paying him for one of the most successful formats of all time. I wouldn't give him an hour of my time, but if he can screw Fox for that much, good luck to him.

Cindy said...

It's not what he's paid that matters, it's what he's WORTH. I wouldn't watch AI if he wasn't on it, because the rest of the judges are morons. At least Simon adds a little humor to the show. Whether you get his brand of humor or not would surely have an effect on whether you enjoy watching it. Simon is well worth anything they pay him because he IS the show. This is all my humble opinion, of course.

Pookie said...

if we're going to compare, i think we need to do so on a level playing field, not within this apples-to-oranges scenario. that said, simon is obscenely overpaid, but since it's not coming directly out of my pocket, i'm not going to worry too much about it.

not on my dollar said...

Simon is getting paid this ridiculous salary because he's smart. Smart enough to convince people that he's indispensable.

People are suckered into believing they can't do without seeing him or the show.

It works therefore he can continue to name his price.

white lorelei said...

I must have missed the memo: when did live become fair?

Anonymous said...

Who says Life is fair....

the masked avenger said...

this is commie talk...

Billy Hatcher Cheats said...

"Anyone with an accent and an acid tongue can do it."

Billions of British existed before Simon. And dozens of talent shows on US TV failed. That, in itself, proves anyone can not do what he does.

Ms Cool said...

Maybe he gives a lot to charity. I like him. His salary is astronomical but that doesn't make me like him less.

Sierraton said...

I just wish Simon Cowell would float me a loan or somethin'....

Mooshki said...

I just wish he'd float me his Bugatti Veyron. Yes, I'm obsessed with that car.

It's kind of funny that he's asking for such a huge raise as the show's ratings are going down. If I didn't know better, I'd say he was a CEO.

jax said...

Billions of British existed before Simon. And dozens of talent shows on US TV failed. That, in itself, proves anyone can not do what he does.

ya ok...see Piers Morgan.

jax said...

...and Sharon Osbourne. its a niche that he fills,but anyone with the same attitude and accent could pull that off in a heartbeat....as they have.

ardleigh said...

That is a digustingly obscene amount of money for that pretentious prick. If Fox is willing to pay it then that is their stupidity. I don't watch this anymore and haven't for a while. If you think he's not worth the $$$$ then don't watch the show. Fox will stop his gravy train then. I will say that anyone with enough snark could do his job as judge.

odocoileus said...

Geez, Enty. You're a Hwd lawyer. You gotta be smarter than that.

If Cowell is grossing 144 mil, he's netting less than half that. Downstream, a small army of working people are getting paid. Managers, lawyers, agents, accountants and financial planners. Stylists, designers, hairdressers.

Real estate agents, car salesmen, autoworkers, carpenters, painters, plumbers, you name it when Simon decides to burn off some of his fortune by living large.

You may not like it, but I'm sure the British treasury is thrilled to be raking in over 50 mil in taxes.

The advertisers who pay Fox, who pays Cowell, are all big multinational corporations. They know what they want, and they usually get what they pay for. If they weren't spending it on Cowell, they'd be spending it on someone else.

Ms.Leigh said...

$144m to be a PROFESSIONAL ASSHOLE? that's amazing!

if fox can't afford him, i say give the money to charity, & i'll sit & act like an asshole on the show for free! just hook it up on the boxed wine ;)

c17 said...

Pookie said...but since it's not coming directly out of my pocket, i'm not going to worry too much about it.

Ummm....correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't most of the money for the shows made from selling advertising time & the money those companies make is by raising the prices on the products you buy? Therefore, it DOES come directly out of your pocket.

c17 said...

Billy Hatcher Cheats said...Billions of British existed before Simon. And dozens of talent shows on US TV failed. That, in itself, proves anyone can not do what he does.

Seriously dude, put down the remote AND GO READ A BOOK!

It's people like you that are responsible for the trash that is "Jon & Kate Plus 8" - DIAF already!

Katja said...

odocoileus- Do you really think people with that much money pay the same tax as 'normal' people? After a couple of million they become corporations and pay zero taxes. (No matter what country they are from).

thurbers said...

According to some figures I heard this morning, this would be paying Simon Cowell over 15% of everything earned by American Idol a year. Sorry, but that is not only obscene on any moral and ethical level, it is flat out bad business.

AI's ratings went down last season, so Cowell deserves more? Once again this is just bad business. Cowell would make money from AI whether he appeared or not. So unfortunately he does have them over a barrel in that respect, but they should still call his bluff.

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