A newspaper report that pegged Donald Trump’s salary for hosting “The Celebrity Apprentice” at $65 million per year was hotly denied by NBC.
The story in the New York Post earlier this week said Trump and producer Mark Burnett had reached a new agreement with the network for at least two more cycles of the reality competition series. The story said the deal was worth $160 million – much of it ($130 million) going just to pay Trump.
The newspaper story also noted that, at $65 million per season, Trump would earn more even than Simon Cowell earned on “American Idol” – a reported $45 million per season – even though “Idol” got three times the ratings on Fox as “The Apprentice” or “The Celebrity Apprentice” get on NBC.
To us, that fact alone would appear to cast doubt on the Trump story because it makes you wonder how on earth Trump could command a higher salary than Simon Cowell when the “Apprentice” franchise, though still popular, is not on the same level as “Idol.” NBC wanted to set the record straight too and issued a statement about it – a rare instance in which the network commented publicly on a contract (although it refrained from revealing the actual terms of the agreement).
“The financial information reported today in regards to ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ is grossly inaccurate and has been significantly overstated,” NBC’s statement said, according to Deadline.com. “While it is our policy to keep financial information strictly confidential, neither the production costs of the show nor what Mr. Trump makes personally is in the realm of reality [in the story]. Donald Trump and ‘The Apprentice’ franchise remain a key part of the NBC prime-time lineup and we are looking forward to another compelling cycle next season.”
The New York Post story was attributed to “sources familiar with the contract.”