Top 7 media CEOs collectively made $343.8M in 2016

Money

The head honchos of major media companies saw their collective compensation rise significantly last year.

According to Deadline, the CEOs of CBS, Comcast, Discovery Communications, Disney, Fox, Time Warner and Viacom collectively made 21.1% more last year than they did in 2015. All together, the chief executives of those companies made $343.8 million.

Of course, a significant factor in that increase was the whopping $93 million exit package Viacom awarded to outgoing CEO Philippe Dauman. Without that package, the other CEOs still hauled in about $250 million, up 9.2% annually.

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The pay raises for media company CEOs came during a year in which cord-cutting fears and skinny bundles occasionally dinged the stock of big programmers like Disney.

In February 2016, media stocks endured a massive sell-off after reports of ESPN losing large amounts of subscribers. Disney, 21st Century Fox, Time Warner Inc. and Viacom stock all fell in what was the worst week on Wall Street for major programmers since August 2015.

RELATED: CBS signs on CEO Moonves until 2021

Although 2016 may have had its ups and downs for big media, CBS seems to have come out of the year fairly unscathed, and has rewarded its CEO Les Moonves because of it.

Last year, Moonves made more than $69 million in total compensation after what CBS called an “exceptional” year.

“The 2016 fiscal year was exceptional for CBS Corporation as it continued to achieve success on key financial results from the prior year,” according to an SEC filing. “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.”

This week, CBS announced it has extended the employment contract for Moonves through June 2021. After that, Moonves will have the option to become a senior adviser to CBS for an additional 5 years and gives him the option to establish a production company under CBS' auspices.

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