Let me start this by saying, I like Dr. Phil. He has grown an empire because he is a likable, down-to-earth, Texan. But then again, I like Diet Coke, and you know what some people say about that.
According to the website, Celebrity Net Worth, Dr. Phil has amassed a boat load of money, to the tune of $280 million dollars. Although he has chosen not to, that would have bought him more than enough hair plugs to cover his bald melon.
So how has Dr. Phil made so much money? Well, to start, his annual salary is somewhere between $70 – $80 million dollars. (Note: In full transparency, that is slightly more than I make writing this fledgling blog.)
According to his own online bookstore, The Dr Phil Bookstore, I count 12 different books that he has written. Some of them are workbooks to assist people in putting his strategies and life lessons into effect. His wife Robin, it appears has written 5 books. Their son, Jay McGraw, has written 7 books. When you write that many books, how could you keep the most profits from your books? Well, you have your son create the publishing company, Bird Street Books, and you publish your books through him. Then you hawk them on your wildly popular syndicated TV series… which he also owns. The Dr. Phil Show is produced and distributed with CBS Television Distribution and McGraw’s Peteski Productions. NOTE: Peteski is the nickname of one of his sons.
He revamped the show in 2009 with a new look and new theme music written and performed by his other son, Jordan. Let me just reiterate, music publishing is a very lucrative business. Dr. Money-bags, I mean, Dr. Phil did not change the theme music of his show because it sounded better, he changed it so he could own a piece of the music every time it is broadcast. Considering the show is in syndication around the world, the revenue stream for the music from the show is huge!
According to wikipedia, Dr. Phil created, The Dr. Phil House, where filming was set in an actual house within the Wilshire Park neighborhood in Los Angeles. It received numerous complaints from neighbors about the disruption caused by filming crews, the guests, cables and production trucks clogging the neighborhood and the constant traffic caused by filming. After the Los Angeles City Council revoked film permits, in September 2006, Dr. Phil stopped filming there. However, the show’s production company, retained ownership of the house. The Dr. Phil House later moved to a studio back lot, and the interior of the house shown in the program became that of a sound stage and ceased to be that of the actual house.
As of August 2014, there were 2,142 episodes of the Dr. Phil Show in syndication around the world. In many episodes, Dr. Phil points viewers and the prop audience to his website, drphil.com Once on that website there are plenty ways to catch up on episodes you missed, sign up for his newsletter and also, of course, plenty of ways for the Good Doctor to make a buck.
Dr. Phil has also found a way to be relevant. He currently has 1.37 million followers on Twitter. Despite the Dr. Phil Show being taped, and then aired at a later date, he has a group of hard-core Dr Phil fans who watch each episode as it is filmed through special access to the live feed. This allows Dr. Phil to appear to get instant results on Twitter. He always says, “this topic is blowing up on Twitter” and then is able to read comments from Twitter. In truth, there are only 1,000 super fans who have this backstage access to the show’s live feed as it is taped. Here is a great article the New York Daily News did on Dr. Phil’s Twitter Interactivity.
In many episodes, Dr. Phil will use resources from companies that he has ownership in and/or companies that advertise within the same program. Talk about the rich getting richer. Recently, Dr. Phil was singing the praises of an app, called, nextdoor.com. The app is a social networking site for neighborhoods. As predicted, that app was one of the advertiser that hour. Dr. Phil, as the owner and producer of his own show would certainly make a profit from the sale of advertising during the show.
It is like Dr. Phil stands on his stage and says, here is the best thing since sliced bread and you should get it! To his credit, if he has ownership in a company he will disclaim it, but when he indirectly benefits financially from hawking an app, books, counseling services, etc that is never disclosed.
One of the biggest apps that Dr. Phil pushes on his show is the Doctor on Demand app. This app allows people to communicate with a doctor via video chat through an app. The app was started by software engineer Adam Jackson, Dr. Phil and his son, Jay McGraw. The video chat sessions do not come cheap. They range from $40 per visit up to $95 for a 50 minute session. It is conceivable that the doctors who are on call with the service split the money with Dr. Phil. The app is free to download, the first call is free… but watch your wallet after that!
Often during the show Dr. Phil will have segments where he communicates with someone who is not in the studio. He makes sure everyone knows that the technology is from Polycom. Polycom is Skype for Business. I would bet my McDonald’s McRib that Dr. Phil is somehow invested in Polycom, because the Good Doctor doesn’t appear to doing anything unless it is making him money.
I do not begrudge Dr. Phil one bit. God Bless him for parlaying a few on camera appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show into his own media empire.
So now you know.
Have a great day!
You can follow me on Twitter @MrBrick