Sating the public's shark-like appetite for breaking celebrity gossip isn't easy, but a network of websites, magazines, and TV shows make a killing trying to feed the demand. The combined revenue for the celebrity gossip industry — anchored by sites like TMZ and Radar Online, which often pay several thousand dollars for inside information — tops more than $3 billion per year, according to The New York Times. And it's not just the Lindsay Lohans of the world who earn leakers cash. Even C-list scandals, like the goings-on of "Octodad" Jon Gosselin, can mean huge paydays. Here, a look at the buzz machine, by the numbers:
Number of reporters who surrounded the Los Angeles courthouse during Lindsay Lohan's recent arraignment on theft charges
Amount a UCLA Medical Center employee pocketed for releasing Farrah Fawcett's hospital records
Amount Los Angeles Deputy Coroner Ed Winter said his department was offered for photos of Michael Jackson's corpse
Amount ABC News acknowledged paying the family of murder suspect Casey Anthony for home video and pictures
Amount reality TV dad Jon Gosselin (Jon and Kate Plus 8) earned in one year from TV and magazine interviews
Percent of that income that went to Gosselin's talent broker, as commission for paid interviews and appearances
Average number of gossip items Radar Online publishes every day
Amount Betty Ford Center employee Dawn Holland — who accused Lindsay Lohan of assaulting her — received from TMZ for sneaking the media outlet a copy of Lohan's confidential file
Number of years the Betty Ford Center had previously gone without losing control of a patient's file
Amount Holland's lawyers agreed to accept for photos of an eventually nixed reconciliation between Holland and Lohan
Amount per year Holland earned from the Betty Ford Center, before being fired for leaking Lohan's file
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- America created the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? Meet the ISIS 'truthers'
- The Obama era is over. The presidency continues.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How Harry Houdini escaped death
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The 10 best networking tips for people who hate networking
- On ISIS, neocons and liberal hawks have a 'boy who cried wolf' problem
- How American businessmen are ruining American business — and the U.S. economy
- Why the West should let Russia have eastern Ukraine
Subscribe to the Week