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The economics of daytime TV can be somewhat murky. It’s widely known that top stars like Ellen DeGeneres or Judge Judy can make $20 million, $30 million or even $50 million annually. But for the hosts that make up the rest of the crowded daytime schedule, their pay can be harder to pin down, especially when considering the complex agreements that see the talent also serving as producers and partial owners of their shows.
Dr. Mehmet Oz’s run for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania is shining some light onto those otherwise opaque deals.
To back up for a moment: Dr. Oz announced his decision to run for retiring Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat late last year, joining a crowded field of candidates vying for the Republican nomination. In his announcement, Oz leaned on his background as a doctor and as a media personality, portraying himself as an outsider candidate in the same vein as Donald Trump.
His pivot to politics necessitated a change to his media profile. In December, Sony Pictures Television confirmed that The Dr. Oz Show, which had been a syndication staple for 13 years, would end in January. Oz’s daughter Daphne Oz would host its replacement, The Good Dish, though that show was also canceled in March.
Political candidates are required to file financial disclosure forms, and Oz is no exception. His form, filed Wednesday night, reveals just how complex — and lucrative — his daytime talk show was. Oz’s net worth is over $100 million, according to the disclosure, and could be as high as $500 million (the Senate disclosure forms allow fairly broad value ranges for assets).
While Judge Judy Sheindlin famously negotiated a $47 million annual salary when her court show was at its peak, Oz’s salary was a more modest, but still lucrative, at $2 million per year, the filing shows. But the salary is only a small piece of the pie. Oz was also paid nearly $194,000 annually for his role as a producer on the program.
But, of course, Oz also owned a portion of his talk show, with that stake mixed with his other businesses, trademarks, websites and media assets in a number of LLCs, including Oz Media LLC, Zoco Productions LLC, Oz Works LLC and Oz Property Holdings LLC.
The filing shows that Oz Media paid Oz more than $7 million in 2021, likely reflecting profits derived from the daytime talk show. So, all told, Oz’s compensation from the talk show was in the ballpark of $10 million.
Additionally, his various LLCs had tens of millions of dollars in cash and investments, all of which he beneficially owns, and much of which can be traced back to the show.
The filing also detailed other compensation that would be of interest to Hollywood.
Oz served a two-week stint as the guest host of Jeopardy! last spring, drawing some outrage from viewers for his past support of pseudoscientific treatments. According to the filing, Oz was paid more than $268,000 for the guest-hosting gig, with all of that money being donated to an unnamed charity.
He also received more than $23,000 from Cameo, compensation for the personalized videos the platform is known for. The filing says that he donated those proceeds to HealthCorp, a nonprofit Oz himself founded.
Other earnings included $15,000 in residuals from various TV and film appearances, and a few thousand dollars for other public appearances through Sony.
Of course, Oz’s net worth is not solely due to his status as a TV star. He remains an attending physician at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York, and he received more than $330,000 in royalties for his role in developing the MitraClip cardiovascular device. He also was a paid spokesperson for Turkish Airlines.
On top of all that, Oz owns a stake in the streaming company Jungo TV (co-founded by film producer Sandy Climan) valued at between $500,000 and $1 million. The filing also revealed that Oz owns a cattle farm (he just acquired it in December), with livestock that he values at between $250,000 and $500,000.
Oz also remains a member of the Screen Actors Guild, where he participates in the guild’s benefit plan.
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