Stern, who is one of America’s wealthiest celebrities with a net worth of $450 million, renegotiated his eight-figure contract with SiriusXM in December 2015. The deal includes digital distribution channels like apps and video streaming, which could pad Stern’s paycheck in the future.
Runner-up Rush Limbaugh, who pocketed $84 million, enjoyed a 21% increase in listeners to his eponymous show thanks to a “Trump bump.” The most-listened-to talk show host in America, with 14 million listeners by Talkers Magazine’s estimate, he was far from the only one to get this ratings boost. Overall industry over-the-air advertising revenue did not improve last year, hovering at $14.1 billion, according to BIA Kelsey, but the news-talk category saw an uptick, which the advisory firm attributed to the presidential election.
Ryan Seacrest rounds out the top three with $58 million. In addition to hosting his Premiere Networks program, the busiest man in show business co-hosted Live! alongside Kelly Ripa and helmed coverage of red carpets, the Rio Olympics and New Year’s Eve. Seacrest’s earnings will surely rise with his return to American Idol in the 2017-18 TV season.
Glenn Beck barely made the cut with $10 million, the threshold for the list. This is Forbes’ lowest estimate for Beck since it started tracking his earnings in 2009. This past year has been turbulent for Beck’s conservative media empire. He recently laid off more than 20% of staff at TheBlaze, his news organization, and Mercury Radio Arts, his production company.
Earnings estimates are based on data from Nielsen, NPD Bookscan and PollstarPro, as well as interviews with industry insiders. All figures are pretax; fees for agents, managers and lawyers are not deducted.