New Media vs. Hollywood Paychecks: How They Stack Up

Marissa Mayer Headshot - P 2013
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Marissa Mayer Headshot - P 2013

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's $36.6 million overall compensation is big, but she's not in Leslie Moonves territory.

This story first appeared in the June 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Yahoo's Marissa Mayer might be the best-earning new-media CEO, with more than $36.6 million in overall compensation in 2012, according to a new SNL Kagan survey. But she's still behind top execs at traditional media companies.

CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves' $62.2 million, Discovery CEO David Zaslav's $49.9 million and Disney CEO Robert Iger's $40.2 million bested her salary in 2012. Overall, the average pay for the top 25 new-media CEOs in 2012 was about $9.3 million, says SNL Kagan. Not bad, but top execs at the seven media congloms including Viacom, News Corp., Time Warner and NBCUniversal all make more than $25 million.

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The key difference is the pay structure. New-media honchos make nearly nothing in cash bonuses and very little in nonequity incentives, deriving a large part of their compensation in stock and options. And unlike Hollywood's top execs, some of the top digital execs -- Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Larry Page -- didn't even make the top 10.