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Oprah Winfrey tops Forbes highest-paid list for 4th year

But magazine says she’ll be knocked off in coming years

Oprah Winfrey is shown in March. She tops the Forbes highest paid celebrities list for the fourth year.

Oprah Winfrey is shown in March. She tops the Forbes highest paid celebrities list for the fourth year. 

Oprah Winfrey earned an estimated $165 million US in 2011-12, putting her atop the list of the world’s highest-paid celebrities for the fourth year in a row.

She may have given up her day-time talk show and be struggling to gain an audience with her new television network, but Winfrey still has a bevy of Harpo productions raking in the cash. Among them are syndicated TV shows such as Dr. PhilRachael Ray and The Dr. Oz Show as well as her still-popular O magazine.

Winfrey is taking to the airwaves again with shows like Oprah’s Lifeclass andOprah’s Next Chapter in an effort to boost ratings at OWN, Forbes notes, but the magazine estimates she will not remain the highest-paid celebrity in coming years. That’s because it plans to revise its method of ranking to exclude earnings from syndication.

Movie director Michael Bay earned only $5 million less than Winfrey, largely on the back of box-office smash Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which also led to toy sales and other spinoffs. Forbes estimates Bay earned $160 million between May 2011 and May 2012.

There are an impressive array of movie and TV producers in the Forbes top 10, among them Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Jerry Bruckheimer and Simon Cowell. Music producer Dr. Dre was a surprise addition to this year’s list, coming in at No. 5 with income of $110 million because of the sale of part of his Beats by Dr. Dre headphones business to handset maker HTC.

Spielberg is estimated to have brought in $130 million with films War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin, Dreamworks TV series Smash and his cut of Universal theme parks.

Bruckheimer had a box office hit with the latest Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, while Lucas contines to get residuals from the Star Wars franchise, as well as from his Industrial Light and Magic, which provides effects for movies like Battleship and The Avengers.

Forbes estimates celebrity earnings from upfront pay, profit participation and residuals and interviews with agents and industry insiders.

Forbes highest-paid celebrities

  1. Oprah Winfrey, $165 million.
  2. Michael Bay, $160 million.
  3. Steven Spielberg, $130 million.
  4. Jerry Bruckheimer, $115 million.
  5. Dr. Dre, $110 million.
  6. Tyler Perry, $105 million.
  7. Howard Stern, $95 million.
  8. James Patterson, $94 million.
  9. George Lucas, $90 million.
  10. Simon Cowell, $90 million.

Oprah Winfrey tops Forbes highest-paid list for 4th year

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Oprah Discusses Rihanna’s ‘Next Chapter’ Episode



*OWN has made available online the trailer for “Oprah’s Next Chapter” featuring an in depth interview with Rihanna, scheduled to air next Sunday, Aug. 19, at 9 p.m. EST.

As previously reported, Oprah Winfrey flew to Rihanna’s native island of Barbados for the taping. The two chatted about her career, her family, the recent passing of her grandmother and the price of fame, according to OWN.  She also “reveals how she really feels about Chris Brown-and her relationship with him today.”

Rihanna will also drive Oprah around the island to tour her childhood neighborhood and meet her mother, Monica Fenty, “for a surprise announcement.”

Oprah Discusses Rihanna’s ‘Next Chapter’ Episode

Oprah Goes in on Twitter Follower for His Not Supporting the ‘Ghetto’ Tweet

oprah winfrey

*We don’t think you wanna mess with Oprah unless you’ve got all your facts right. And then it’s still might not be a good idea.

One of her Twitter followers, AWALK @awalkdatalk, found that out Sunday evening after tweeting this:

@Oprah when are u going 2 give back 2 the ghettos in america?

As we all know, Lady O is known for using part of her considerable fortune for causes she appreciates. One such is a school for girls she built and funds in South Africa. And of course she’s constantly criticized for not doing enough for black folks here in the states. We presume that’s what motivated the attack tweet above

Well, Madame Winfrey was either pissed at Steadman or just not in the mood for any foolishness ’cause she immediately came back with this retort:

@awalkdatalk when are u? I’ve put 500 African American men thru college . And u sir?

Oh, snap!

As the Huffington Post pointed out, it wasn’t clear immediately as to which of her charitable activities in education Oprah was referring to, but she has donated a million dollars to several charter school networksacross the country. She is also the largest individual donor to Morehouse College, the all-male institution that has long been of the nation’s premier historically black colleges. The college said that she has donated more than $12 million since 1989.

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50 Cent Appears On Oprah Winfrey’s “Oprah’s Next Chapter”
Oprah’s Next Chapter | Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson… by Ashley_Miller_3


While there were rumors that they didn’t get along, 50 Cent and Oprah Winfrey come face-to-face for an interview.

50 Cent is the latest to appear on an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s Oprah’s Next Chapter.

During the segment, Fif takes Oprah to his grandparents’ house where he often spends the night. He also took a stroll down memory lane by taking the media mogul to his childhood home and talked about his difficult childhood.

They also touched on their rumored feud. Oprah, who has come out swinging at Rap music in the past, asked why he had once made comments against her. The G-Unit general explained that he felt that she had come at the culture and used him as an example of what’s wrong with it.
Oprah’s Next Chapter | Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson… by Ashley_Miller_3   
50 Cent Appears On Oprah Winfrey’s “Oprah’s Next Chapter”

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Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network troubles test relationship with bankroller Discovery

Shakeup includes layoff of 30 staffers, dropping of Rosie O’Donnell’s show

LOS ANGELES — Oprah Winfrey is used to running the show, whether it was her hit daytime TV program or the fledgling cable channel named for her and which she rules as chairman and chief executive.

But this week’s Oprah Winfrey Network shakeup, which included a 20 percent staff layoff, thrusts her into a new dynamic: power-sharing with a top executive from the company that’s bankrolled OWN with $300 million-plus.

It’s a crucial moment for the media queen, who made OWN her next big move after “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” and for OWN itself: Can Winfrey work as an effective corporate teammate with partner Discovery Communications to turn the struggling channel around?

There’s another bedrock question: Does a big enough audience exist for the earnest, uplifting fare on Winfrey’s OWN, so antithetical to the blowsy charms of “Jersey Shore,” “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and much else that’s popular on cable TV?

As important as control might be to Winfrey, she’s also a savvy businesswoman and has been willing to take advice before — and not just from Dr. Oz, Dr. Phil or her other TV health and wealth proteges. Her syndicated talk show’s distributor made sure she stayed on track.

“In the past, when she was becoming too ‘New Age,’ or becoming too distant, which can come with celebrity and wealth, the folks at King World would do a survey” and pass the results to her, said Bill Carroll, an expert in the syndication market for media consulting firm Katz Media.

As a smart broadcaster, Winfrey heard the public “and adjusted to what they were saying,” Carroll said.

Winfrey started off slowly with OWN, busy wrapping her talk show’s 25-year run last fall with much hoopla. She began exerting more control after leaving daytime, and as part of the executive turnover that began five months after OWN’s January 2011 debut to disappointing ratings.

Christina Norman, who was dismissed as CEO in May 2011, had expressed hope that, within its first year, OWN would reach an average of about 400,000 viewers in prime-time among women ages 25-to-54. That would have been a doubling of the prime-time audience in that demo for Discovery Health, the channel OWN replaced.

For the year to date, OWN is averaging 318,000 total viewers in prime-time, a 9 percent increase over the same period last year.

It was philosophy, not numbers, that Winfrey focused on at the channel’s launch. She was insistent that OWN would represent her talk show’s message of self-empowerment writ large across an entire channel.

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