LOS ANGELES Her new television network is struggling, but Oprah Winfrey's bank account is doing just fine, according to financial website Forbes.com, which on Monday named the talk show queen as the highest paid celebrity for the fourth straight year.
Winfrey has failed to find major success with joint venture partner Discovery Communications on the OWN network, but her ownership in syndicated TV shows such as "Dr. Phil," "Rachael Ray," "The Dr. Oz Show" and other media products enabled her to earn an estimated $165 million between May 2011 and May 2012, Forbes.com said in a story posted on Monday.
Close behind was movie director Michael Bay, whose action-packed adventure flick "Transformers: Dark of the Moon" released last year, helped him earn $160 million based on participation in ticket and toy sales and other revenue.
Another film director, Steven Spielberg, earned $130 million in the 12-month period covered by Forbes from his participation with TV shows like "Smash" and the release of the movies "The Adventures of Tintin" and "War Horse."
Jerry Bruckheimer placed fourth with $115 million from TV shows and films including "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and behind him at No. 5 was music producer Dr. Dre, who earned $110 million based mostly on the sale of part of his stake in the Beats by Dr. Dre headphone company.
Rounding out the top 10, in order, were:
Actor and producer Tyler Perry, $105 million
Radio and TV personality Howard Stern, $95 million
Author James Patterson, $94 million
Movie producer George Lucas, $90 million
Music producer and TV personality, Simon Cowell, $90 million