No Christmas Bonus For Simon Cowell

It could be a bonus-free Christmas for reality show Scrooge, Simon Cowell, according to reports out of the UK.

ITV, the network which airs Cowell’s “X-Factor,” the “Idol”-like reality competition that spawned the likes of Leona Lewis, is cutting back due to tough financial times.

The network said it “can’t afford to overpay” for its talent roster, after predicting a 9 percent drop in advertising in the run up to Christmas, according to reports out of the UK.

“The heat has gone out of the talent market and we will no longer have the salary inflation we have seen,” ITV’s Chief Operating Officer John Cresswell said, according to the UK’s Press Association. “Two years ago, the rate was going up and up but that was in different economic times. We will pay what we need to pay, but we can’t afford to overpay.”

Last month, ITV reportedly asked its stars to take a pay cut, the PA reported.

According to the PA, Cowell is believed to have struck a three-year deal in 2006 for the “X-Factor” worth $31 million.

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