Most of the media won’t say boo about this. Wonder why.
Wall Street Titans Outearned by Media Czars
Where do they go? Well if the theorem is true that they follow the money, then there should be a stampede back into professions such as the media industry, where top executives quietly hauled down a fortune in 2011 compensation. For instance, Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS Corp. (CBS), was paid $69.9 million in 2011. David Zaslav of Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA) received $52.4 million, while Philippe Dauman at Viacom Inc. (VIA) was paid $43 million. Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s Robert Iger got $31 million. Jeff Bewkes, at Time Warner Inc. (TWX), was paid $26 million in 2011.
Even the top executives at Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), Brian Roberts and Steve Burke, received compensation of $27 million and $24 million, respectively, despite their pay being cut 13 percent and 32 percent, respectively, from the previous year. (It’s worth noting that Comcast patriarch Ralph Roberts, now 92 years old and still a regular in the executive offices at the company, once again took $1 in compensation for 2011.)
Six media executives wound up in the top 15 of the Associated Press’s list of highest-paid executives released last week; not a single banker joined them. No doubt these talented executives are worth every penny of their exorbitant pay: Profits at their companies are up, as are stock prices. But one would be hard-pressed to remember the last time that the top pay at media companies outstripped that of Wall Street.