Being a media CEO is better than winning a presidential election. You get to hang out with TV, music and movie stars. You get your name in the papers for showing up at glamorous black-tie dinners. You get the best seats for every show and ball game. You don’t have to worry about Iraq and the deficit. And you have those mammoth paychecks. (Silly me, I buried the lead)
What do media CEOs do
to merit the eye-popping compensation packages?
Yes, the operating
margins for successful entertainment operations are impressive, but … come on!
You have to wonder why
shareholders of these public companies don’t squawk more loudly and often about
But we know why, of
course: As long as the stockholders themselves are making good money on their
investments, perhaps that is all they care about and maybe it is all that they
should worry about.
Naturally, once their
return on investment slips, they will get worked up. That never changes, right?
If Gutenberg had cranked out one less notice a week from his new printing press, his
backers would have taken him to task, too.
It’s the nettlesome
print media that usually causes a fuss in the first place about this situation.
Think about it.
You can’t REALLY
expect television-news outlets to shine a light on this subject because it’s
possible that their boss is among those cashing in so handsomely.
I doubt that (m)any
broadcasters would do much shouting when his or her head could be on the
chopping block, if one of them stirred up the shareholders about how much dough
the boss is taking home.
The top 20 companies
in the United States rated by market capitalization don’t include any media entities.
But according to statistics compiled for the New York Times by Equilar, which comes up with these fascinating data on executive compensation, media companies house
seven of the top 20 highest paid chief executive officers.
The Times goes on to
point out that the folks are well known and the pay is gargantuan: Leslie
Moonves of CBS ($60,253,647), David Zaslav of Discovery Communications
($49,932,867), Robert Iger of Walt Disney ($37,103,208), Philippe Dauman
of Viacom ($33,396,104), Jeffrey Bewkes of Time Warner ($25,670,263), Brian Roberts of Comcast ($25,087,379), and Rupert Murdoch of News Corporation
Moonves was the third-highest
paid executive in 2012, topped by Larry Ellison, who garnered $96.2 million as
leader of Oracle, and Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard whose recently disclosed arrangement reached $64.9 million (although,the Times notes, a good deal
of it will be paid in stock options that vest over five years).
Nice work if you can