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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Ryan Seacrest ousts Simon Cowell as Hollywood's top reality dawg

    The Way They Were: Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Ryan Seacrest and Randy Jackson in 2008. (AP)

    Ryan Seacrest may have started his career as a lowly $15 an hour DJ on an L.A. radio station’s afternoon drive show, but he is now one of the most powerful people in Hollywood.

    For the first time, Seacrest has topped the Hollywood Reporter’s annual power list, earning more than $55 million per year.

    Cowell had held the No. 1 slot for the past two years, but this year, his first after jumping off of the “American Idol” juggernaut, he fell to No. 6.

    Seacrest, who just inked a three-year deal to continue hosting “American Idol” for $45 million, also has lucrative ventures in radio, reality TV, scripted programming, music publishing—and filmmaking.

    The 36-year old reveals to the Hollywood Reporter that he has sold one film and has a second one in development.

    “Ryan absolutely has his finger on the pulse because he’s talking to America every day through his radio show,” Idol creator Simon Fuller says of Seacrest’s unique brand of success. “He knows what people are thinking about, and as a producer that really gives him a leg up.”

    Seacrest also has several television shows in production—including his wildly popular E! “Kardashian” series–and 19 new shows in development.

    The prolific producer has lucrative partnerships with Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola and Microsoft, promoting the brands to his 4.2 million Twitter followers and his two popular radio shows—“On Air with Ryan Seacrest” and “American Top 40.”

    “I don’t know if you noticed,” Seacrest mused to the Hollywood Reporter. “But I don’t do well sitting in one place.”

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