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SEC Watch: CBS CEO Moonves’ Comp Topped $43 Million In ’09

CBS (NYSE: CBS) CEO Leslie Moonves made $43 million in 2009, more than double his 2008 compensation of $21 million. Sounds good but keep this in mind: both years combined don’t equal the staggering $67.7 million from 2007. His base salary barely budged over those three years, staying at $3.5 million and change, but his bonuses varied greatly, from $18.5 million in 2007 to $9 million in 2008 and $15 million for 2009. In 2007 and 2009, Moonves was awarded one-time batches of stock options, in addition to his other compensation, which also skews the comparison.

Masochists can get all the details in the CBS proxy filed Friday but here’s some of the buzzword bingo explanation for ’09 (emphasis added):

“He continued to aggressively pursue new and existing opportunities to leverage and monetize the high quality content that drives the Company’s core businesses and to maintain the Company’s reputation as a highly desirable workplace for top talent. He also advanced strategic plans to develop cross-promotional opportunities in many parts of the portfolio of CBS businesses to capitalize on synergies as evidenced by the restructuring of the Company’s operations.” (Translation: one person’s layoff is another’s bonus.) He also got points for holding ads back during the tough ’09 upfront and getting higher prices in scatter for gains in the second half of the year.

He comes out ahead of Viacom (NYSE: VIA) counterpart Philippe Dauman by about $9 million; Dauman’s ’09 compensation was $34 million. Like Dauman, Moonves recently got a five-year extension in the role.

Redstone rewarded: As chairman of CBS and Viacom, Sumner Redstone gets the Doublemint treatment. His total take at Viacom was $16.8 million; at CBS, it’s $16.2 million. The total: $33 million.


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