I didn't see the explanation for the basis of the list in the print edition, but online, in small print, Forbes notes, "Rankings are generated by combining earnings with other metrics: Web mentions on Google press clips compiled by LexisNexis; TV/radio mentions by Factiva; and number of times a celebrity's face appeared on the cover of 25 major consumer magazines."
I can understand the top portion of the list, filled with people with one-name brands like Anginlina, Oprah, Madonna, Beyonce, & Tiger.
That still doesn't explain how a number of people got on the chart, like:
- Michael Jordan, #18. He's great, I agree. But why is he ahead of LeBron James, #19, when King James is everywhere?
- Jerry Seinfield, #37. Of course I'm a fan, and I'm impressed he made $8M last year, but not sure he had much "media power" in 2008.
- Ryan Seacrest, #44. Of course, I'm not fan. I guess I can understand his high ranking because he's everywhere, but that doesn't mean I understand why he's been successful.
- AC/DC, #47. Really? I know that, given the economy, the wars, etc., it seems like we're on a highway to Hell right now, but why did AC/DC get on the list?
- Jim Carey, #56. Ok, my boys have reached an age where they probably would appreciate Carey's humor (if I let them watch Ace Ventura), but I haven't seen evidence that he's got media power this year.
- Wolfgang Puck, #95. Paging the '90s.
- Penn & Teller, #96. Ok, they made an impressive $73M last year. But I bet whoever was ranked at 101 must be kicking themselves.