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article imageUpdate: Did Trump ink a deal to become highest-paid reality star?

By Kim I. Hartman     Jun 23, 2011 in Entertainment
New York - Donald Trump has demonstrated his skill in closing the big deal after recently negotiating and signing a contract with NBC executives, reportedly worth $160 million, for two more seasons of The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice.
Celebrity Apprentice is set to begin its 11th season in March and after a few months of successfully staying in the spotlight by leading the often revisited 'birther conspiracy' claims against Barack Obama, as well as a much publicized flirtation with a presidential bid, and a controversy involving the Indy 500, Donald Trump has shown himself to be a valuable asset in the eyes of NBC, says Salon.
Proving himself to be popular with the American public, who either love or hate him, has helped Trump become the highest paid reality star on television. NBC Universal has anted up an estimated $160 million for the billionaire real estate mogul and his co-producer Mark Burnett to continue producing and hosting the popular reality show Celebrity Apprentice, reports the NY Post. Burnett and Trump co-own the Apprentice franchise, which was first aired in 2004.
Fox News suggests the few months that Trump spent 'testing the waters' before deciding not to run in the 2012 Presidential election was "designed to enhance his brand and boost ratings for 'The Apprentice' ahead of contract talks."
Trump's choice of staying at the helm of Celebrity Apprentice instead of vying for the job of the presidency will earn him 150 times the salary paid to the President of the United States, said the Salon report. The President earns just $400,000 per year, much less then the top reality stars, including Trump, make each year.
Reality show stars and hosts salaries have shot through the roof with Simon Cowell reportedly earning $45 million from Fox for his final year as a judge on American Idol. Ryan Seacrest was paid an estimated $45 million for a three year deal by the head honchos at the Peacock, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The Kardishian sisters have successfully parlayed their family into a money-making giant with Kim Kardashian taking the honors as the highest paid female celebrity star on a reality show, earning $6 million per year, according to the Daily Beast. Bethenny Frankel, who began her television career on the Apprentice, followed by the Real Housewives of New York, earned $4 million in the first season of her Bravo spin-off series, Bethenny Getting Married. Kate Gosselin's deal with Bravo is said to be worth $3.5 million per year, while Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian earn $2.5 million each on the E! reality series Keeping up with the Kardashian's, reports the Daily Beast.
NBC has issued a statement today denying the salary first reported by the NY Post and released the following statement, according to the Huffington Post.
"The financial information reported today in regards to 'The Celebrity Apprentice' is grossly inaccurate and has been significantly overstated. 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. Donald Trump and 'The Apprentice' franchise remain a key part of the NBC primetime lineup and we are looking forward to another compelling cycle next season."
So how much does "The Donald" earn in his position as host of 'The Apprentice' franchise?
More about Donald trump, Celebrity apprentice, reality television star, Reality TV, Nbc
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