AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan Pay Rises to $30.5 Million in 2016

Adam Kraus
Josh Sapan

The boss of the company behind 'The Walking Dead' made $17.7 million in 2015.

AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan received total compensation worth $30.5 million in 2016, compared with $17.7 million in 2015 and $40.3 million in 2014. 

AMC in an SEC filing on Thursday said Sapan made a base salary of $2 million last year, and received a $4.58 million cash award and another $13 million in stock-based compensation to receive $19.5 million in direct pay.

He received another $15.1 million in non-equity incentives to get his total compensation to $30.5 million.

AMC COO Edward Carroll saw his total compensation rise to $22.23 million last year, against $7.6 million in 2015.

The boss of the company behind AMC, home to The Walking Dead, and such cable channels as IFC, Sundance Channel and WE tv had in 2014 benefited from an amended and restated employment agreement, in which Sapan received a one-time special equity retention award. In 2013, he earned $9.5 million, up from $8.9 million in 2012.

AMC Networks' stock fell nearly 30 percent in 2016 as Wall Street debated weaker ratings for Walking Dead and the company's ability to crate new hit shows.

"Recent investor discussions have remained mired in concerns regarding the maturity of The Walking Dead and the potential threat that live ratings declines represent for future advertising trends," Guggenheim Partners analyst Michael Morris wrote in a recent report.

He added: "With 11.4 million live viewers and over 16 million seven-day viewers on average during its current season, The Walking Dead remains the most highly rated entertainment program on cable television. We believe that the time-shifted audience for The Walking Dead and the company’s broad and growing, programming lineup represent valuable assets that are not currently reflected in share valuation."

Morris also argued that an expected advertising-free subscription streaming service for authenticated pay TV customers could be "another step toward monetizing these assets."