CBS’ Moonves Sees Salary Drop

CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves was awarded compensation in 2008 valued at $20.8 million, down 69 percent from a year earlier, according to an Associated Press review of a recent securities filing.
Moonves, 59, took in a salary of $3.5 million, down a third from $5.3 million in 2007, according to the proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
His cash bonus was cut nearly in half to $9.5 million, from $18.5 million a year earlier. Other compensation, including personal use of company aircraft and company-paid life insurance, fell 27 percent to $229,981 from $314,759.
Moonves also was awarded restricted stock units based on performance that the company valued at $7.6 million when they were granted Oct. 1.
But the New York-based company said the market value of those awards had fallen to about $4.3 million by Dec. 31. That calculation is a rough estimate because the actual award level is based on an evaluation of free cash flow in the year after they were granted.
CBS stock fell 67 percent from $24.62 on Dec. 31, 2007, to $8.07 on Dec. 31, 2008.
Its network of local TV and radio stations have been hammered by an advertising slowdown, made worse by the troubles in the auto and financial sectors.
By the same calculations, controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone, 85, was awarded compensation in 2008 valued at $15 million, up 5 percent from $14.3 million a year earlier, the filing showed.
Redstone, who controls 81 percent of the voting rights in CBS, saw his salary dip to $1 million from $1.4 million, but his bonus grew to $5.5 million from $4.8 million. Other compensation, including his private use of company aircraft, fell to $17,418 from $72,177 a year earlier.
Redstone was awarded stock options and performance stock units valued at $8.5 million when they were granted. But the company said stock awards valued at $4.6 million when granted on Jan. 1, 2008, were worth only $925,708 by year end.
Similarly, it said options to buy stock at $23.96 and $15.39, worth a total of $3.9 million when granted, were now “underwater” because the share price made it unprofitable to purchase them at that price. CBS shares closed at $6.01 Monday. The value of those options could increase over time if the share price rises.
The AP compensation formula is designed to isolate the value the company’s board placed on the executive’s total compensation package during the last fiscal year. It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year.
The calculations don’t include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which reflect the size of the accounting charge taken for the executive’s compensation in the previous fiscal year.