Report: Simon Cowell being offered Oprah-size deal to stay with 'Idol'
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/24/2009
Simon Cowell is reportedly on the verge of extending his American Idol contract -- and receiving an Oprah-sized payday in the process.
The Idol judge has been in talks with Fox and Idol's 19 Entertainment production company to renew his contract in a deal that is "likely to surpass even Oprah Winfrey's estimated earnings," The Financial Timesreported Tuesday, citing a person familiar with the negotiations.
The November 2005 five-season agreement Cowell signed with Fox expires after Idol's ninth season next spring, and he has been upfront about his willingness to leave the show due to his other obligations to his The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent U.K. reality competitions.
In addition to negotiating his new deal, Cowell is also teaming with British retail billionaire Sir Philip Green to form a new global entertainment company geared towards creating television content in the U.S. and U.K., according to the U.K. financial newspaper, which added Green has been traveling to Los Angeles to advise Cowell on his Idol contract negotiations.
The joint venture between Green and Cowell will reportedly serve as a holding company for all of Cowell's entertainment interests, according to The Times, including The X Factor, Britain's Got Talent, America's Got Talent and new programming devised or produced by Cowell.
Both Cowell and Green declined comment when contacted by The Times.