CBS' Leslie Moonves Pay Drops to $62.2 Million in 2012

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The CBS Corp. CEO, who earned about $70 million in salary and bonuses in 2011, signs a rich contract extension to stay on through 2017.

UPDATED: His compensation is down 11 percent from $69.9 million in 2011, but he is once again the highest-paid CEO of a Hollywood conglomerate.

CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves' 2012 compensation amounted to $62.2 million, down 11 percent.

His pay, disclosed in a regulatory filing on Friday, compares with $69.9 million in 2011 and $57.7 million in 2010. It once again made him the most highly paid Hollywood CEO ahead of Discovery Communications boss David Zaslav who made $49.9 million in 2012.

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By comparison, the compensation for Philippe Dauman, the CEO of Viacom, which, just like CBS Corp., is controlled by Sumner Redstone, amounted to $33.5 million for the firm's fiscal year ended Sept. 30. That was a decline of 22 percent after special items had boosted his pay package a year earlier.

CBS Corp. is the latest entertainment giant to disclose executive pay for last year. Cablevision Systems, for example, had said Thursday that CEO Jim Dolan saw his 2012 compensation jump 47 percent to $16.9 million.

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Moonves' base salary was up minimally at $3.51 million, compared with $3.50 million in 2011. His bonus was unchanged at $27.5 million. His stock awards rose from $8.5 million to $11.5 million. But his stock option awards declined from $27.3 million to $16.3 million.

Moonves' $ in "other compensation" included $660,247 in transportation-related benefits, including the use of a car, driver and the corporate plane, and $583,808 in security benefits. 

Chairman Redstone's CBS compensation rose from $20.3 million to $31.3 million. The 54 percent gain was driven by a big uptick in pension value. Redstone's Viacom compensation for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 amounted to $20.4 million.

The stock of CBS last year rose 42 percent, making it one of the best entertainment industry stocks.

"Under Mr. Moonves' leadership, CBS posted record results in 2012, with its highest revenues, operating income, and [earnings per share] since it became a standalone company in 2006," the company said in a statement. "During this same year, CBS stock was up 40 percent. This is the fourth consecutive year that the company’s performance significantly exceeded the S&P 500, resulting in a four-year period, during which CBS stock appreciated by approximately 15 times. In addition, the company’s content once again led the industry in 2012, and CBS was at the forefront of monetizing that content in a host of new, incremental ways. Mr. Moonves’ compensation is reflective of all this success.”


Twitter: @georgszalai