CEO Pay High In 2022 Amid Industry Shakeup, Looming Writers Strike

The deadline for public companies operating on the calendar financial year to disclose the salaries of their top executives made for unfortunate optics. This fall April 28, the current WGA contract with the studio is set to expire tonight, and some of the same media companies have a parade of eight-figure packages for top executives, writers who are demanding minimum wage increases. . raised eyebrows.

Amid a media industry reset over the past year, studios are pointing to tough times countering the WGA’s wage increase proposals, which include tanking stocks, layoffs and other cost-cutting measures, inflation and recession fears Are.

Despite all this, several entertainment CEOs get huge pay raises in 2022, with the stream of announcements coming as the WGA-AMPTP The talks entered their final weeks.

CEO pay averaged nearly $32 million last year for 13 CEOs from 12 media companies (Netflix co-CEOs), including several executives have crossed the $50 million mark. The packages contained a mix of cash and equity awards. “But they will astound shareholders in terms of pay elsewhere,” said Rosanna Weaver, pay expert at the nonprofit shareholder advocacy group As You Sow.

See the list of CEOs and their salaries below.

The revelation didn’t go down well with writers, actors and artists, who started sharing an image in support of a potential wga strike, While it features 2021 salaries for some top media CEOs, the response to the size of this year’s executive compensation has been similar, especially given the timing of the announcement, as studios rank-and-file differ on the minimum salary for the year. trying to bridge. File writer in contract negotiation.

As is sometimes the case, a non-CEO leads Charlie Collier among the highest-paid executives, with Roku’s new head of media since late October. The former Fox Entertainment chief received a $53 million package last year when he jumped on the platform where he worked for the last three months of 2022. Meanwhile, Roku CEO Anthony Wood’s package was $20.9 million. stop It recently announced plans to lay off 200 employees, or 6% of its workforce, as part of a restructuring plan after 200 last fall, as it seeks to “slow year-over-year operating expense growth and focus on those projects.” Looks to prioritize what … has a high return on investment.”

Among CEOs, Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos, co-CEOs of Netflix last year, topped the list with $50 million, 25% and 32% respectively. Hastings took over earlier this year as executive chairman with Sarandos and Greg Peters now co-CEOs. Netflix famously allowed executives to choose how they wanted to be paid in cash or stock. Ted Sarandos has turned to the cash, and clocked a $20 million base salary. (Hastings took almost all of his salary last year in stock options as he usually does.)

Netflix was the first to wave a big red flag that heralded a year of industry turmoil. In April of 2022, the streamer reported its first subscriber loss in more than a decade, setting off alarm bells as Wall Street outlook swung from euphoric to angry, and media stocks subsequently plummeted. Netflix shares are down 50% in the last year. The streamer then let go of hundreds of people, calling the layoffs “adjustments so that our costs are rising in line with our slowing revenue growth.”

On the request of the shareholders, the company said that it has re-examined its salary policies from this year.

Perry Souk, CEO of Nexstar, is no more. 3, salary increased by 86% to $39 million. The stock was one of the very few gainers in the media space last year, though there has been a squeeze with job losses at The CW, which Souk has promised to make profitable by 2025.

Bob Bakish, CEO of Paramount Global, saw a 60% pay increase to $32 million. The stock fell 45% last year. The company is reducing its executive ranks and restructuring, including converting Showtime to Paramount+.

was skewed by comp in 2021 Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Endeavor chief Ari Emmanuel. Zaslav was given a $202 million option award when his contract was extended, and the Warner Media–Discovery merger was set to close. His salary dropped to $39 million last year. WBD promised Wall Street $4 billion in savings and is laying off employees across its portfolio, from Television and Max to CNN and advertising sales.

For 2021, Emanuel received a $293 million restricted stock grant related to the company’s IPO. His salary for 2022 was $19 million.

In both cases, the equity awards for 2021 were linked to performance.

Salaries are typically disclosed in company proxy statements, which were due on the previous Friday for companies operating a calendar year and running weeks in advance. those with fiscal years ending in September, such as disneyOr in June, like Fox filed earlier.

When discussing salary, compensation committees of boards often take a few things into account, including the need to remain competitive in the marketplace given the package CEOs are given in the peer group (which creates a tough-to-break cycle. ). In times of turmoil, like Covid, and now, they emphasize an executive’s ability to steer the ship, set strategy and make tough decisions in a difficult environment. They also emphasize that equity grants often vest over years and may be linked to stock performance or other metrics, so “fair value” in compensation tables is not the same as cash.

Proxy includes compensation of the company’s top five highest paid executives. The list of names for 2022 reflects a seismic shift in the media business and the corner office in a sense.

Bob Chapek was Disney’s CEO for the company’s entire fiscal year 2022. His salary dropped to $24 million from $32 million the year before. Chapek, who was abruptly replaced by Bob Iger last November, exited with a cash-and-stock package worth about $20 million.

Disney’s fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.

Iger, who was executive chairman until Disney retires in December 2021, earned $15 million for fiscal 2022. His new package as CEO is about $27 million for each year of his two-year term. Disney has taken heat from shareholders in the past over Iger’s pay. He had a package of $ 46 million in FY 2021. The company is in the process of cutting $5 billion in costs and laying off 7,000 employees.

AMC Networks paid a total of $40 million last year to three former CEOs, Christina Spade, Matt Blank and Josh Sapan. Spade, most recently, left AMC in November after three months in the role. James Dolan, chairman of the board of the majority family-owned company, took over temporarily amid major layoffs and cost-cutting. Kristin Dolan, his wife, was named CEO in February.

Jeff Shell, ex-CEO of NBC Universal, still had his name on the Comcast proxy filed last week, but forfeited most of the $21 million package listed there and more ($43 million to tune in. , including unvested stock units, and vested and unexercised stock options) after being fired for cause.

Comcast chief Brian Roberts’ pay package fell 6% to $32 million. NBCUniversal seen falling apart lay off The outlined belt-tightening begins to take effect in 2022 in select divisions. Paramount Global is reducing its executive ranks and restructuring, including folding Showtime into Paramount+.

Fox Corp CEO Lachlan Murdoch earned $21.7 million. Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch was paid $18.4 million. The company settled a lawsuit against Dominion Voting Systems for approximately $800 million.

Comedian Roy J. wood,

At the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this weekend, comedian Roy J. Wood made a scathing comment about newsroom corruption. Companies are “cutting people, cutting budgets. But you never hear about reducing the salaries of multimillion-dollar executives at these organizations.

“It’s a time when this reflects poorly on the industry, when so many people are losing their jobs, yet there always seems to be enough money to pay for higher executive salaries,” Weaver said. “These are forward facing companies. They have a reputational risk.

Netflix said that starting in 2023 it would limit co-CEOs’ base salaries to $3 million and require that 50% of allocable salaries be in stock options – though only with a one-year vesting period, Especially not for long periods. WBD has linked some of CEO Zaslav’s compensation to free cash flow.

AMC Entertainment chairman Adam Aaron, who will make $23.7 million in 2022, asked the board to freeze his 2023 salary. He was informed of his 2022 salary earlier on Friday, announced in February. “I don’t want “more” when our shareholders are suffering losses,” he then tweeted.

Straying into tech, Apple said it is slashing CEO Tim Cook’s total compensation from $99 million last fiscal year to $49 million in fiscal 2023, after engaging with stockholders.

ceo pay for 2022

reed hastings – Co-CEO

2022: $51.1 million

2021: $40.8 million

up 25%

Ted Sarandos – Co-CEO

2022: $50.3 million

2021: $38.2 million

up 32%

Perry Sook – Nexstar

2022: $39.3 million

2021: $21.1 million

up 86%

david zaslav – Warner Bros. Discovery

2022: $39.3

2021: $246.6

down 84%

tom routledge Charter, acting chairman, stepped down as CEO on December 1.

2022: $39.2

2021: $41.9 million

down 6.3%

Brian Roberts – Comcast

2022: $32.1 million

2021: $33.9 million

down 5.6%

bob bakish – Paramount Global

2022: $32 million

2021: $20 million

60% up

bob chapek – The Walt Disney Company

FY 2022: $24.2 million

FY 2021: $32.5 million

down 25%

adam aaron – AMC Entertainment

2022: $23.7 million

2021: $18.9 million

up 25%

gregory pardon – Liberty Media

2022: $22.4 million

2021: $21.6 million

up 4%

lachlan murdoch – Fox Corp

FY 2022: $21.7 million

FY 2021: $27.7 million

down 21%

Anthony Wood – Roku

2022: $20.9 million

2021: $18.1 million

up 16%

ari emanuel – Attempt

2022: $19 million

2021: $300 million

down 94%