CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves was awarded a pay package in 2010 worth about $57 million, a third more than the year before, as he helped keep CBS the top-ranked broadcast network and secured long-term deals that expanded distribution and reduced risk, according to an Associated Press review.
A regulatory filing made Friday showed that the company awarded Moonves one-time bonuses totaling $27.5 million in part for his role in signing a 10-year deal with cable TV company Comcast Corp. and negotiating a 14-year deal for college basketball with the NCAA. The Comcast deal gives CBS steady revenue for the rights to carry the broadcast network and cable channels such as Showtime on Comcast lineups. CBS says the $10.8 billion NCAA deal caps the company's losses by sharing expenses with Time Warner Inc.'s Turner Broadcasting.
Moonves was also heralded for boosting operating profits and free cash flow well above the company's targets.
Moonves' bonus total was up 83 percent from $15 million in 2009. The company said $20 million of last year's bonus was for success in his role as president and CEO and $7.5 million was for "his leadership in connection with the creation of premium content across the company's portfolio of businesses."
Top CBS shows include "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," and "The Big Bang Theory." It also has "Two and a Half Men," although the show's producer, Warner Bros., recently fired that show's star, Charlie Sheen, for outbursts directed at a show executive.
The company also owns Showtime, which has been increasing subscribers on the back of hit shows such as "Dexter," "Weeds" and "Californication."
Moonves' base salary was unchanged at $3.5 million, his stock awards were up 5 percent at $8 million, and his option awards rose nearly 4 percent to $14.9 million.
All other compensation, which includes a tax reimbursement for working and living in both Los Angeles and New York, rose 18 percent to $3 million.
In 2010, the company's share price rose 38 percent, from $13.78 to $19.01.
The Associated Press formula calculates an executive's total compensation during the last fiscal year by adding salary, bonuses, perks, above-market interest the company pays on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock and stock options awarded during the year. The AP formula does not count changes in the present value of pension benefits. That makes the AP total slightly different in most cases from the total reported by companies to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The value that a company assigned to an executive's stock and option awards for 2010 was the present value of what the company expected the awards to be worth to the executive over time. Companies use one of several formulas to calculate that value. However, the number is just an estimate, and what an executive ultimately receives will depend on the performance of the company's stock in the years after the awards are granted. Most stock compensation programs require an executive to wait a specified amount of time to receive shares or exercise options.