'American Idol' judge Simon Cowell, keen negotiator
By April MacIntyre Oct 13, 2008, 20:50 GMT
08/26/2008 - Simon Cowell - American Idol Introduces Their New Fourth Judge Kara DioGuardi at American Idol NYC Tryouts on August 26, 2008 - Chelsea Piers - New York City, NY, USA © Janet Mayer / PR Photos
Simon Cowell knows how to parlay his god-given gifts of derisive disdain, Anglo sneer and horse-picking when it comes to selecting moneymaking singers, and has negotiated another huge payday with Fox reality king, "American Idol."
Page Six broke the news that the large payday Simon receives has been a source of contention on "American Idol" amidst the other contracted talents.
Nigel Lythgoe, the former executive producer of "Idol," tells and Australian paper that Simon Cowell is earning $36 million a year, well above what Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson earn.
Jackson's and Abdul's "salary has never been advertised and Simon has been in Forbes which is why I am talking about it," Lythgoe said in the interview.
"Why is he getting more than the other two judges? Because it is believed that he brings more to the table."
Lythgoe has since quit the show himself to focus on expanding reality competition, "So You Think You Can Dance," abroad for television.
Lythgoe believes Cowell is worth "every penny" and lauded Cowell's limited annual contract methods for ensuring the best deal possible. Cowell never inks for more than 12 months at a time.
"He has actually handled his negotiations quite brilliantly," Lythgoe added. "And now he is getting something like $22,000 per minute."