Dr. Phil is the $70 million man. That’s right, between his paycheck from his #1 rated syndicated cable TV show and his self-help books he rakes in a reported $70 million a year. Just for being the empathetic good guy that millions of people tune in to watch regularly. The show targets women viewers 25-54 and pulls in about 4.3 million viewers to earn it’s number one spot.
It turns out that just maybe Dr. Phil isn’t the warm, fuzzy guy those four million women think he is. Just maybe Dr. Phil is as big a phony as the rest of cable TV reality stars.
“Dr. Phil” is the No. 1 rated syndicated talk show on television, with its advice-guru host raking in a reported $70 million a year. Yet insiders tell TheWrap the production is enmeshed in turmoil behind-the-scenes with rampant layoffs, benefit cuts and staff unrest.
The reason for the layoffs and cost-cutting is unclear, since the show continues to thrive in its No. 1 slot
I understand layoff and cost cutting, sometimes you’ve got to do it for the organization to survive. It doesn’t sound like that’s the case here, what with Dr. Phil topping the charts. He seems to be the heartless SOB that people come on his show and ask for advice about.
Since the staff returned to production in August for season 14, there have been waves of layoffs. Days after employees settled in from their summer hiatus, executives carried out the first wave of cuts by axing the entire Transcription Department.
“It was heartless to cut those people after we returned from hiatus,” an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap. “They could have notified them while we were on break and given them time over the summer to look for other jobs. Instead they let them go right after we got back.”
Cuts like this don’t come out of nowhere, the show’s producers certainly knew this was in the works months ago. They could have cut people when the industry was getting ready to gear up for new seasons and there were job openings. Now that the new season has kicked off I wouldn’t be surprised if many, if not most, of the people who just got the axe won’t be in a position to find a new job until next summer.
The people who still have jobs took it on the chin too.
In addition, the show scaled back medical benefits, prompting several union employees to file a formal complaint with the Directors Guild of America, we’re told.
The DGA did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
While benefit cuts may seem minor to some, an insider explained that staffers not covered by union benefits are now scrambling, particularly those with families, after their monthly medical contributions jumped from about $200 up to $2,000.
Dr. Phil, it looks like you’re a hell of a guy. My question for you is this. When are you going to have some of your current or former employees on your show so you can counsel them on how to deal with bosses who are greedy a-holes who don’t care about their people?
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