Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s total compensation for 2020 was $37.7 million, down 18% from $45.8 million in 2019, according to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The big change in Zaslav’s pay was that he received no option award for 2020. Last year, he received nearly $7 million in options.
Comcast also disclosed $32.7 million in 2020 compensation for its chairman and CEO Brian Roberts.
ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish saw his pay increase slightly in 2020 to $38.9 million in 2020, according to an SEC filing on Friday. Bakish pulled in $36.6 million in compensation for 2019, which was split between his duties as CEO of Viacom before the merger with CBS toward the end of 2019.
Gray Television said CEO Hilton H. Howell Jr.’s total compensation fell 27% to $8.89 million in 2020, the company reported. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gray reported that Howell’s salary rose slightly to $1.23 million, but he received small stock awards and non-equity incentive plan compensation. President and co-CEO Pat LaPlatney’s compensation rose 8% to $4.13 million.
Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen, long one of the lowest paid CEOs in the media industry, broke that mold Friday after the satellite giant revealed the executive received his biggest payday yet, $94.8 million, fueled mainly by one-time stock options, according to its annual proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Charter Communications Chairman and CEO Thomas Rutledge’s compensation at the U.S. cable and Internet giant rose sharply from $8.74 million in 2019 due to option awards figuring in his overall pay package.
Jason Kilar, who has served as CEO of WarnerMedia since May 2020, has a compensation package worth about $17 million per year in cash and stock, according to a regulatory filing. Kilar’s base annual salary is $2.5 million, plus $2.5 million in short-term target bonus and $12 million in vested stock grants per year, according to AT&T’s proxy filing Thursday. The exec’s total realized compensation in 2020 was $2.92 million.
Disney disclosed the total compensation for its top executives in a year that saw the company hit hard by the pandemic right after Bob Chapek took over as CEO.
Netflix said that Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos, the streaming company’s co-CEOs, will each earn $34.65 million for 2021, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The amount is unchanged from the compensation they were scheduled to get in 2020.
Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, the overseers of the Fox Corp. media conglomerate their family controls, saw their annual compensation fall for the most recent fiscal year in large part due to executives’ decision to give up salary between May and September as the company grappled with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The pay cuts spurred on by the novel coronavirus pandemic are beginning to wind down. Fox Corp. told employees in April that everyone at the VP level or above would see their pay cut by 15% through the end of July. In an email to staff last month, Fox chief legal and policy officer Viet Dinh wrote to staff confirming that pay would be returned to normal effective Aug. 1.
Quibi is implanting pay cuts for senior executives as its two-month-old entertainment app struggles to catch on with viewers amid the coronavirus pandemic. Senior executives, including CEO Meg Whitman and Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, will take a 10% pay cut in an effort “to tighten our belt,” they wrote in a memo to staff on Wednesday morning.
The company, which underwent layoffs this week, has not yet docked executive pay, which has “upset” some network staffers. However, CBS News President Susan Zirinsky was asked by an employee during a staff Zoom call whether pay cuts were considered and said that cuts were discussed at the corporate level, though they have not been enacted.
Media chieftains don’t suffer from low self-esteem. Industry titans including Bob Iger, Reed Hastings and Rupert Murdoch probably need big egos to believe they’re entitled to make far more than most CEOs at similarly sized companies — and much more for 12 months of work than an average employee could make in several lifetimes.
Just a day after Comcast’s NBCUniversal announced a reorganization of its executive ranks, the conglomerate said that senior leaders who comprise the executive committee, reporting directly to CEO Jeff Shell, will be reducing their salaries by 20% amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s 2019 compensation took a bit fall from his sky-high take in 2018, dropping 65% to $48.5 million for the still-handsomely paid executive. The $48.5 million was more in line with his 2017 compensation, which was $42.2 million.
NBCUniversal’s Steve Burke got 2019 compensation worth $42.6 million in 2019, his final year as CEO, compared with nearly $40.0 million in 2018 and $46.5 million in 2017, according to a regulatory filing from pay TV, media and technology giant Comcast. That marked a gain of 6.5%.
Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch will forgo his salary amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and 700 employees at the company will see salary reductions, the executive said in an internal memo on Wednesday.
Reed Hastings, the streaming giant’s founder, CEO, president and chairman of the board, tallied $38.6 million in 2019, according to an SEC filing — a $2.5 million increase from the previous year. Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos saw a $5.1 million bump to $34.7 million.
The company said it will donate an amount equal to those cuts to a fund to support its employees affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Walt Disney Co. said on Monday that executive chairman Robert Iger will forgo his entire salary and recently named CEO Bob Chapek will take a 50% pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to an email from Chapek sent to employees obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.
Charlie Ergen, the billionaire chairman and former CEO of Dish Network, took home $2.35 million in total pay for 2019, according to an SEC proxy filing issued on Friday. Ergen made $3.1 million for running the satellite TV service in 2018.
John Stankey, head of WarnerMedia and AT&T’s president and chief operating officer, saw his 2019 compensation rise 36%, to a total of $22.47 million, according to a regulatory filing.
A large minority of Walt Disney Co. shareholders who cast votes at the company’s annual meeting on Wednesday opposed the company’s executive pay plan, Disney said. Disney said 46% of votes were cast against the plan and 53% in favor of the plan, with 1% abstaining. The vote is advisory and non-binding.
Netflix’s two top execs, CEO Reed Hastings and chief content officer Ted Sarandos, will each see their pay rise to more than $34 million in 2020, according to the company’s filing with the SEC on Monday. Both are set to make $34.7 million next year, which would represent a 10% pay increase from the $31.5 million each earned this year.
Acting CBS Chief Executive Joe Ianniello, who will become chairman and CEO of CBS once Viacom merges with CBS, will bank a hefty payout of $100 million when the deal closes, sources say. That’s up from the $70 million he was already set to pocket in severance for not being named head of the newly combined company — despite staying on in his current job.
The conversation today between Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Radhika Jones and Walt Disney Chairman-CEO Bob Iger and filmmaker Jon Favreau was largely about the upcoming Disney+ streaming series Star Wars: The Mandalorian, but toward the end of their chat, Jones put the Mouse boss in the hot seat over his $66 million compensation last year, as well as his thoughts on a wealth tax that’s being pitched by Democratic presidential candidates.
The new Fox Corp. is much smaller than its predecessor by almost any measure. But one thing hasn’t changed: Lachlan Murdoch’s paycheck. The Fox CEO and heir to billionaire Rupert Murdoch has annual target compensation of $20 million — equal to what he received as executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, regulatory filings show. Of that, $3 million is salary and the rest is composed of cash and equity bonuses tied to performance.
For the second straight year, shareholders have rejected a multimillion-dollar pay package for the CEO of the largest owner of television stations in the nation. At issue was $41.4 million in future stock awards to Nexstar Media Group CEO Perry A. Sook under a four-year contract extension he signed in January.
Since becoming president and CEO of Discovery Inc. 12 years ago, David Zaslav has consistently ranked near the top among highest-paid CEOs in media and entertainment. In 2014 and again last year, he was the top-paid CEO of a public company in the United States. His compensation package for 2018 was valued at $129,449,005, a jaw-dropping sum that has drawn outrage at a time when rising income inequality is gaining traction as a political issue, and the decisions of corporate entities like Discovery are under increasing scrutiny from investors, regulators and legislators as well as the public at large.
AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan saw his 2018 compensation fall 30% from the previous year to $20.5 million. Sapan earned a salary of $2 million and a bonus of $4.6 million, according to AMC Networks’ annual proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Comcast also reported Chairman-CEO Brian Roberts made $35 million in 2018, up from $32.5 million a year earlier.
Abigail Disney: “In 2018, Disney gave more than 125,000 employees a $1,000 bonus. But that $125 million or so was dwarfed by the $3.6 billion it spent to buy shares back to drive up its stock price and thus enrich its shareholders. Given that about 85% of stocks are held by the richest people in the country, this was a significant new investment in wealth inequality.”
Former CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves forfeited $34.5 million in compensation last year after being forced from his longtime perch amid a sexual misconduct scandal. Nonetheless, the longtime television executive received $12.5 million in compensation, including salary and stock, last year — down from $69 million in 2017.
WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey, who is overseeing AT&T’s takeover and integration of Time Warner, made $16.55 million in 2018, up 64% from $10.01 million a year before. In an SEC filing on Monday, AT&T also reported that CEO Randall Stephenson, whose giant telecommunications company also owns and runs DirecTV, saw his total compensation last year rise to $29.1 million, against a year-earlier $28.7 million.
The company is cutting an annual base salary increase of $500,000 that Iger was set to receive when the Fox deal closes and maintains his current base of $3 million. It cuts the annual bonus he was set to receive by $8 million to $12 million. It also cut his annual target long-term incentive award by $5 million to $20 million.
The station group extends the contract of its founder, chairman, president and CEO in the wake of its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media.
Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger missed his shot at a $60 million bonus but still got his largest-ever compensation package thanks to special awards issued in connection with his contract extension. Iger was awarded $65.6 million for 2018, including an $18 million cash incentive and $43.6 million in restricted stock and options.
Netflix’s new chief financial officer will receive $10 million in total compensation, a more generous pay package than was afforded his predecessor, according to a new regulatory filing. Spencer Neumann will earn $5 million in salary and receive $5 million in stock options.