Winfrey’s production company, Harpo, keeps Winfrey involved in shows like “Dr. Phil,” “Rachael Ray” and “The Dr. Oz Show.” Plus, in addition to her cable network, OWN, which Winfrey is currently trying to boost with shows like “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” she has her magazine and satellite radio station keeping her very busy and very rich. Forbes estimates that Winfrey earned $165 million between May 2011 and May 2012.
Director Michael Bay is second on the list, earning an estimated $160 million, thanks in large part to “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” which brought in $1.1 billion at the box office.
Steven Spielberg had a big year in television with four new shows, including “Terra Nova” and “Smash,” putting him in third place with $130 million earned. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer comes in fourth at $115 million; his “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” was one of the highest-grossing films last year.
Dr. Dre rounds out the top five, earning $110 million, a big chunk of which came from Beats by Dr. Dre, the headphones company he co-founded with Jimmy Iovine. HTC paid $300 million for a 51 percent stake in the company in August 2011.