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WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar earned $52.1 million in 2020 after being appointed during the year, beginning with the firm on May 1. Kilar earned a base salary of $1.66 million, and added $49.2 million in stock awards to his overall pay.
AT&T CEO John Stankey made $21 million in 2020, down slightly from $22.5 million in 2019, the telecom giant has disclosed in a regulatory filing.
Stankey’s base salary last year was $2.05 million, just down from $2.9 million in 2019. He made $13.5 million in stock awards in 2020, against a year-earlier $9.5 million, while also $3.25 million in non-equity incentive compensation last year, compared to $7.56 million in 2019.
Stankey made $16.6 million in total pay in 2018 and $10.01 million in 2017.
Stankey was CEO of WarnerMedia before being elevated at the parent company, with former Hulu boss Kilar hired to replace him as head of the entertainment unit as of May 2020. Stankey then succeeded Randall Stephenson as AT&T’s CEO as of July.
With the 2018 mega-deal for Time Warner that was renamed WarnerMedia, AT&T’s collection of assets includes HBO, Warner Bros., CNN and the Turner networks. But it has also been selling noncore assets to reduce debt.
The telecom giant, headquartered in Dallas, recently also struck a deal to sell a 30 percent stake in its satellite TV unit DirecTV, AT&T TV and its U-Verse business to private equity firm TPG. The companies will form a new venture, DirecTV, valued at $16.25 billion.
Moody’s analyst Neil Begley expects AT&T to use the money from the sale “to help offset” the higher-than-expected $23 billion-plus it recently agreed to spend on 5G wireless spectrum. The TPG deal also allows AT&T to take the pay TV business, hit hard in recent years by cord cutting, off its books. Some analysts say the deal could end up being the first step before an eventual merger of the new entity with Dish somewhere down the line.