The $3 billion celebrity gossip industry: By the numbers

Paid sources and the public's desire for dirt are fueling a hugely profitable, star-stalking culture in Hollywood. Here's a stats-based look into that world

Lindsay Lohan
(Image credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

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

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Amount a UCLA Medical Center employee pocketed for releasing Farrah Fawcett's hospital records

$2 million

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

Sources: New York Times, Beverly Hills Courier, Newser, Jezebel

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