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NBCU owner and cable giant Comcast disclosed his and other top executives’ pay for the most recent year in a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. It was the first time that Comcast’s annual proxy statement detailed Shell’s earnings.
The pay TV, media and technology company also disclosed $32.7 million in 2020 compensation for its chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. He had made $36.4 million in 2019, $35.0 million in 2018 and $32.5 million in 2017.
The company had tapped Shell late in 2019 to take over as CEO of NBCU from Steve Burke as of Jan. 1, 2020. Burke then served as chairman of NBCU until the summer before shifting to a new consulting role with the company.
Last year, Shell received a base salary of $2.61 million, while his overall pay package included $3.74 million in stock awards, $3.75 million in option awards and $5.88 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation.
Shell, 55, had overseen NBC Entertainment, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Telemundo and NBCUniversal International. He was named chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment in 2013.
NBCUniversal’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in 2020 fell 29 percent to $6.3 billion, hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Comcast’s stock rose 14 percent last year.
The company, like many of its peers, adjusted its senior executive pay due to the pandemic, with senior executives taking a 20 percent pay cut. Roberts, Shell and other top Comcast executives also pledged to donate 100 percent of their 2020 salaries to charity.
Like its entertainment industry peers, NBCUniversal has been focusing on growing its advertising-supported streaming service Peacock. It had reached 33 million sign-ups as of late January. “Peacock has had an exceptional start,” exceeding all internal targets, Roberts said on an earnings conference call, adding that “momentum has further accelerated” with the addition of The Office to the streamer, which was “driving incremental users” to the platform.
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