Ryan Seacrest has signed a new contract with NBCUniversal that locks in his role as part of NBC’s “Today” show, Olympics telecasts, election coverage and special events — and that’s just a part of his media empire, The New York Times reports.
Seacrest’s most high-profile gig remains his position as host of “American Idol” for Fox, where he recently signed on for two more years. He also hosts Clear Channel radio shows and is on track to be the new Dick Clark on ABC’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” specials.
The story finds other parallels between Seacrest and Clark. “Already Mr. Seacrest makes well more than $50 million a year from his current jobs, but his busy days are increasingly about businesses behind the scenes, as he tries to do what Mr. Clark did decades ago: build an entertainment empire,” the story reports. Clark died last month at 82, as previously reported.
The report adds: “The exact shape his holding company, Ryan Seacrest Media, will eventually take is unclear to many in the media industry and may even be unclear to Mr. Seacrest, 37, who declined an interview request for this article last week. But he appears to be placing several important bets — a few on broadcasting, a couple on cable, a couple on the Web.”
Richard J. Bressler, a managing director of the private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, which owns part of Clear Channel, said: “He wants to build a major worldwide lifestyle brand with TV production as just one part of that empire.”
Added Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman: “Ryan’s a rare breed: a great creative talent but also a very good business person.”
Seacrest’s company has been producing its own television shows for some time now. “The misses, like ‘Momma’s Boys’ on NBC, have been mostly forgotten, but the hits, like ‘Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ on E!, have persuaded channels like Bravo and CMT to buy its shows,” the story reports. “On Monday E! announced it had ordered another, a reality show starring Kevin Jonas, of the Jonas Brothers, and his wife, Danielle Deleasa.”
The report notes: “In this way Mr. Seacrest may be modeling himself on Mr. Clark, who once said he made money from his ‘American Bandstand’ ‘horizontally, vertically, every which way you can think of.’”
Seacrest’s production company is also behind Bravo’s “Shahs of Sunset,” which premiered in March and has recently been renewed.
The article reports: “Clear Channel is expected to announce that Mr. Seacrest’s $20-million-a-year deal there has been extended two more years, through 2015, at a value of more than $25 million each year.”