Simon Cowell could buy and sell me. And you. A few million times. The “American Idol” judge and producer made a reported $36 million last year for judging the show and this year, he has been offered three or four times that amount (between $100 million and $144 million per year) by co-producers Fox and 19 Entertainment to stick around after his contract expires in May, according to The Guardian, a London newpaper.
The show rakes in just shy of $900 million each year and apparently Cowell’s snark is the linchpin that holds it all together.
Cowell has been using his long-time friend and UK retail multibillionaire Sir Philip Green, who owns hot fashion franchise Top Shop, for help negotiating the terms of a new “Idol” contract, reports say. Green is said to be lobbying hard for an increase in Cowell’s appearance fee on the show.
Sources close to the two friends say that this is just the first step to the creation of an international TV production, talent management and merchandising company, which would put Cowell in a position to own the shows, ideas and the talent he discovers, not just getting a salary for appearing.
“This is about properly owning himself, Brand Cowell, everything he does, new formats and new programs, not just the ones starring him,” a source close to Green told The Guardian.