When Digital Media CEOs Lose It: Whose Portfolio Took The Biggest Hit In 2008

imageA couple of weeks ago, we ranked digital-media CEOs by the size of paychecks. But many of these titans derive most of their wealth not from salary, bonus or options, but from their holdings in the companies they run. In fact, Steve Ballmer and Steve Jobs, among others, draw an annual salary of $1.

So how have new media CEOs fared in this market? It’s not pretty: Anybody who reads Forbes annual billionaire list probably knows that Ballmer, Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt, Barry Diller and Jerry Yang collectively lost nearly $18 billion in wealth last year, with Ballmer topping the loser board — he was $6 billion in the red. But plenty of other digital-media CEOs took a beating too: Activision (NSDQ: ATVI) Blizzard’s Bobby Kotick lost over $100 million, for example, while comScore’s Magid Abraham shed almost $40 million. In fact, only one of the 17 digital-media CEO we looked at wound up in the black for the year. To find who it was — and see just how much of a pruning the others took — see the chart on the jump.

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Methodology: We looked at annual proxy statements for each CEO’s holdings and assumed their stakes remained the same throughout 2008. According to accounting and reporting rules we only included options that were exercisable within 60 days following the release of the proxy statements.