Roberts, Ergen, White deliver most value vs. salary, media exec compensation study finds

Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen, DirecTV's (NASDAQ: DTV) retiring chief executive, Mike White, and Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) CEO Brian Roberts deliver the most value versus salary compensation, according to a report released by the Carmel Group.

The research company's Media Executive and Company Ratings Report examined the top executives at 10 media companies and ranked them on what they deliver to their respective companies in the forms of revenue, net income, earnings per share (EPS), market capitalization and equity, versus what they're paid. The study also factored in other "innovation" benchmarks, such as patents.

Explaining why Ergen and White topped the list, Jimmy Schaeffler, chairman and chief service officer for the Carmel Group, noted the the executives started at the ground floor in building the satellite pay-TV business into what it is today. "Two companies that had almost zero customers 20 years ago are today among  the TV industry's performance leaders," he said. "In this chaotic new age of broadband and OTT competition, innovation and best business practices are the successful CEO's ultimate contribution to corporate and shareholder success."

Even though he brings in tens of millions of dollars in stock compensation, Ergen is listed as the lowest paid executive in Carmel's ranker, receiving, on average, $1.7 million in salary from 2012-2014. White ranked second to lowest, averaging $17 million a year.

"Unless Mr. Ergen sells his stock for a profit, it is only enhanced worth on paper," Schaeffler explained in an email to FierceCable. "In terms of actual money, on average annually 2012-2014, he only brought in $1.7 million."

Ranking dead last was Discovery Networks CEO David Zaslav, whose annual compensation over the three year period averaged $79 million. CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves was next to last, averaging $62 million in compensation.

"Mr. Moonves' and Mr. Zaslav's rating is much lower overall, largely because of what they each took in relative compensation and how their respective companies performed according to composite of all the half dozen financial and other metrics," the report reads.

Ergen ranked first on the list with a composite score of 1.0. Zaslav ranked last with a score of under .10. Time Warner Cable's (NYSE: TWC) Rob Marcus ranked fifth with composite score of around .22. Marcus was the highest paid executive in FierceCable's ranking of 2014 pay-TV salaries.

For more:
- read this Carmel Group press release

Special Report: The 8 highest paid CEOs in pay-TV in 2014

Related articles:
TWC's Marcus will net more than $100M if Charter merger goes through
TWC's Marcus pocketed $34.6M in 2014, edges out Comcast's Roberts for cable biz's top salary

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