CBS exec Moonves gets $69M in compensation after ‘exceptional’ year

CBS Corp. Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves. (Sarah Ackerman/Flickr, David Shankbone, Flickr)

CBS Corp. Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves received no pay raise in 2016, according to an SEC filing posted on Friday and reported by Multichannel News, but his overall compensation did increase 22% for a total of nearly $70 million.

Moonves’ base salary of $3.5 million did not change from the previous year, but he received $13 million more as a “bonus” than in 2015, for a total of $32 million, according to the filing. He also received $31.9 million in stock awards, up from almost $25.5 million in the prior year, for total compensation in salary and perks of $69.6 million. The total amount is 22.5% more than Moonves received in 2015.

RELATED: CBS earned $1B in broadcast retransmission fees in 2016


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“The 2016 fiscal year was exceptional for CBS Corporation as it continued to achieve success on key financial results from the prior year,” the filing states. “This strong performance resulted from the leadership of Mr. Moonves and his senior management team in executing on key strategic growth initiatives and other key strategies, including continuing to strengthen the Company’s financial position, capitalizing on the value of its premium content and maximizing advertising revenues.”

Two other CBS executives also did not receive salary increases but got more in bonuses in 2016. COO Joseph Ianniello’s salary remained at $2.5 million and got almost $4.5 million more in as a bonus, for a total of $29.05 million including stock options. Senior executive vice president and chief legal officer Lawrence Tu’s salary stayed at $1.2 million with $1.1 million more as a bonus, for a total of $7.1 million including stock options. Both Ianniello and Tu received less in stock options than the prior year.

“Mr. Moonves is widely recognized as one of the most influential leaders in the entertainment industry,” the filing states.

RELATED: CBS revenues sink due to fewer NFL Thursday Night Football games

Last week also brought word of the pay raise that Discovery CEO David Zaslav received, up 15% from 2015 for a total of $37.2 million, Variety reported. Zaslav was paid out more than $150 million in 2014, mostly in stock options and awards, but took home significantly less in 2015 at $32.4 million.

Moonves exited 2016 with greater industry power after former chairman Sumner Redstone resigned, and Moonves received support from Redstone’s daughter, Shari Redstone, to be the new chairman. CBS closed out the 2015-2016 television season as the number one network for the 13th time in 14 seasons and also won the number one spot for series, new drama, comedy, and news program. In February, the company reported that it brought in $1 billion in broadcast retransmission fees last year, putting it ahead of schedule in terms of growth rates it set for itself. CBS’ fourth-quarter 2016 revenues were down slightly year over year, due to a “significant international licensing agreement” for Showtime last year as well as airing three fewer Thursday Night Football games this quarter.

Moonves has been CEO of CBS since January 2006 and chairman of CBS’ board of directors since February 2016, and served as an executive for Viacom and Warner Bros. Television. The SEC filing states that Moonves is not compensated specifically for serving on the board.

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