Despite surges in revenue, net income and customers, Brian Roberts, CEO of the nation’s biggest cable company, Comcast Corp., ranked as only the fourth highest paid executive in 2016, hauling in $32.96 million.
Roberts was beat out this year by Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge ($98.5 million) and Charter COO John Bickham ($47.4 million), who were handsomely rewarded in a year in which their company closed on acquisitions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, with the stock price rising significantly.
Within his own company, Roberts was usurped by a man who technically isn’t a cable executive, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, who presented his accountant with total compensation of $46.1 million in 2016 and told him, “Do something with this.”
The salary figures were reported in a year-end document sent to shareholders.
Despite a $100,000 salary bump to $3 million, Roberts actually saw his total compensation in 2016 decline about 9%, with his pension and non-qualified deferred compensation dropping from $8.7 million in 2015 to just $4.3 million last year.
Meanwhile, Comcast CFO Michael Cavanagh—the highest paid executive in cable last year—saw his total compensation drop 32% to $27.7 million.
Senior executive VP David Cohen saw his total compensation remain largely flat at $17.9 million.
Burke, meanwhile, received a pay bump of nearly 37%, with once-moribund NBCU having established firm momentum across TV networks, film distribution, production studios and theme parks.