Media Pays Big

At least for these guys, it does…

It’s a great time to be running a media company (and a radio company too, for that matter).

According to this article in the NY TIMES (subscription required), “…the top 20 companies in the United States ranked by market capitalization include no media companies. But…media companies employ seven of the top 20 highest paid chief executives.”

Leslie Moonves of CBS ‘earned’ $60,253,647 in 2012, making him the third highest paid CEO in America.

What? You work for CBS radio and you didn’t get a huge bonus or pay raise at the end of the year?

CBS posted operating income of $2.98 billion in 2012, and while radio is only a small part of that, it is a part of it — and part of the reason Moonves makes so much money.

The data indicates the average pay of the 10 highest paid chief executives for media companies was about $30 million, more than the captains of technology or finance and other industries, who average $6 million to $14 million less. Median pay for the top 20 media executives rose 10% in 2012…”

“An average compensation of $30 million seems like an entrepreneurial reward being paid out for management execution.”

Not my words; don’t kill the messenger.

It does seem to me, however, that if media companies can afford to give a guy making $30 million a year a 10% raise, the guys who make the product — the artists, talent, craftsmen, everyone on “the team” — could use a 10% raise too.

Radio executives today are fond of telling talent if they won’t work for less, there are plenty of people out there on the beach who will.

If you’re a CEO at a media company and you can’t make do on $15 million a year, how do you think the guys who work for you live? That extra $15 million would help a lot of your employees. It might make it possible for each of them to get a raise each year too.

But that’s not the age we live in, is it?

Shame is in short supply compared to ego and greed. How sad for all of us that we live in a time when success is measured not by your humanity and generosity but by how you control human expenses, regardless of the impact on those human lives..