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The media mogul earned an estimated $165 million between May 2011 and May 2012, down from $290 million a year earlier.
She still ranked atop Forbes‘ list of highest-paid celebrities — which was released Monday — for a fourth consecutive year. Although her syndicated talk show ended last year, Winfrey’s Harpo Productions is behind Dr. Phil, Rachael Ray and The Dr. Oz Show; she also oversees the O magazine, a satellite radio station and her struggling cable network OWN.
But next year, Forbes said, it won’t be including any of Winfrey’s syndication money, meaning she could lose her No. 1 spot.
Additionally, she beat director Michael Bay by only $5 million. The filmmaker, estimated to have earned $160 million, came in at No. 2 thanks to the success Transformers: Dark of the Moon and related toys, of which he takes part of the profits. He’s also not expected to make as much money next year, with only the relatively low-budget movie Pain & Gain on the horizon.
Coming in at No. 3 was Steven Spielberg, estimated to have made $130 million thanks to residuals from his classic films, his cut of ticket sales at Universal Studios amusement park, his DreamWorks earnings and his fees for directing.
Jerry Bruckheimer, whose Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides brought in $1 billion at the worldwide box office, came in fourth with $115 million.
Rounding out the top five was Dr. Dre, who earned $110 million. Last year, HTC paid $300 million for a 51 percent stake in the record producer’s Beats by Dr. Dre headphones company, which he co-founded in 2006 with Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine.
Forbes calculated upfront pay, profit participation, residuals, endorsements and advertising work to determine its rankings. For the complete list, click here.
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