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Cowell, Stern highest paid personalities on U.S. TV

Judge Simon Cowell attends a panel for the television series "The X Factor" during the Fox portion of the Television Critics Association Sum
Judge Simon Cowell attends a panel for the television series "The X Factor" during the Fox portion of the Television Critics Association Sum

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Simon Cowell, the acerbic judge on "The X Factor" talent show, tied for first place as the highest-paid personality on U.S. television with "America's Got Talent" judge Howard Stern, Forbes.com said on Thursday.

Cowell, 53, jumped from third place last year, while Stern moved up from No. 2. Both earned an estimated $95 million for the year up to June 2013, putting them ahead of conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, at $90 million.

Forbes.com described Cowell as a major behind-the-scenes mogul.

"'The X Factor' is now on in 41 countries and his 'Got Talent' is the biggest-selling television franchise in the world," it said.

Stern, 59, is making plenty from his SiriusXM radio show and is paid a reported $15 million as one of four judges on "America's Got Talent."

Oprah Winfrey, 59, dropped from first place last year to fourth with $77 million, followed by talk-show host and author Dr. Phil McGraw, who hauled in an estimated $72 million and rounded out the top five.

Although her long-running syndicated talk show has ended, Winfrey's OWN television network looks set to make a profit this year, and she also earns money through TV spin-offs such as "Dr. Phil" and "Rachel Ray," produced by her Harpo Productions company, Forbes.com said.

Forbes.com compiled the ranking and estimated earnings from entertainment-related work by talking to managers, producers and agents.

Two other women also made the top 10. Talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres was No. 9 with earnings of $56 million, and Judge Judy Sheindlin, whose court show is one of the most watched syndicated daytime programs, was tenth with $47 million.

The full list can be found at http://forbes.com

(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; Editing by Mary Milliken and Philip Barbara)

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