CBS CEO Leslie Moonves' Pay Virtually Unchanged at $69.3 Million for 2017

Leslie Moonves - 2015 Venice Family Clinic's Silver Circle Gala - Getty - H 2018
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He had made $69.6 million in 2016.

CBS Corp. chairman, president and CEO Leslie Moonves received compensation worth $69.33 million in 2017, virtually unchanged from $69.6 million in 2016, according to a regulatory filing Friday.

He took home $56.8 million in 2015 and $57.2 million in 2014. The majority of Moonves' pay is performance based, coming in the form of a bonus and stock and options awards.

CBS COO Joseph Ianniello saw his 2017 compensation dip to $22.1 million, against a year-earlier $29 million, while senior executive vp Lawrence Tu made $8.1 million last year, compared to $8.57 million in 2016.

CBS grew adjusted net earnings from continuing operations 3 percent last year and adjusted earnings per share rose 7 percent. Its stock dropped 7 percent in 2017.

CBS Corp. and Viacom, both of which are controlled by the Redstone family's privately held National Amusements, earlier this year formed special committees to explore a recombination, which they had considered in 2016.

Viacom more recently rejected CBS' initial merger proposal, which had been submitted March 30 to kick off negotiations between the two entertainment companies, as they consider recombining 12 years after their separation.

Market watchers see the negotiations between Viacom and CBS as a starting point for tough deal-making, and predict Viacom will push for a higher valuation and a possible role for CEO Bob Bakish, who has the support of National Amusements president and Viacom and CBS vice chair Shari Redstone and whose turnaround efforts have improved the Viacom's financial and ratings performance over the past year.