Judge Judy is a well-known celebrity judge; her rulings are televised on television during the day. Her cases often involves dramatic lawsuits among friends and family members. Judges are certainly respectable authority figures in our society and are compensated based on their education and experience. It is fair for a typical judge to be compensated well as judges have completed law school and practiced law for numerous years prior to being appointed. However, Judge Judy's $47 million contract goes well beyond fair compensation into the realm of superfluous compensation. Her pay is not based on her merit as a judge but rather on her status as a celebrity.
Judge Judy has been on air for quite a long time and has built up a fanbase. The network generates income from advertisers during her time slot and since they are in the business of making money, it must all equal out in the end. If not, come contract negoitation time, there will be someone else in her time slot.
Obviously, $47 million a year to be a TV judge is ridiculous. However, for a company to be willing to pay her that much, she must be really good at what she does. She's extremely famous, and there must be a reason for that. I definitely think $47 million is way too much though.
While Judge Judy's salary for the next four years is indeed large, she is not overpaid. People should be paid whatever wage they can fairly negotiate with their employer. It is obvious that Judge Judy's employer places a great deal of value on her services, so why should Judge Judy not be compensated accordingly?