Federal Judges Vs. Talent Show Judges: The Pay Gap
If you add up the total salaries of all the approximately 180 top federal judges sitting on the U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court, the combined amount would come to about $32 million. But add up the total earnings of Simon Cowell, the judge on The X Factor and Howard Stern, the judge on America's Got Talent and you arrive at a figure of $190 million. The earnings figures for Cowell and Stern appeared today (Friday) in Forbes magazine's list of the highest-paid TV personalities. To be sure, the two men have other sources of income besides the two TV shows. Stern, who hosts a morning program on Sirius FM, is the highest-paid personality in radio. Cowell owns a large piece of the company that produces America's Got Talent and its namesake franchises throughout the world (Britain's Got Talent, Australia's Got Talent, India's Got Talent, etc.). Surprisingly, No. 3 on the list is Glenn Beck, the former Fox News commentator, whose Internet station, website, books, and talk-radio show bring him an estimated $90 million a year. He's followed by Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Phil McGraw, Rush Limbaugh, Donald Trump, Ryan Seacrest, Ellen DeGeneres and yet another judge, Judy Sheindlin, who earns $47 million per year -- still far more than all the top federal judges put together.