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CBS chief Les Moonves' compensation dropped in 2008, proxy filing shows

Overall compensation, including stock and option awards, was valued at about $32 million, compared with $36.8 million in 2007. His take-home salary was $13 million, down from $23.8 million.

April 25, 2009|Joe Flint

CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves' compensation package is kind of like "American Idol's" ratings. It may be down from last year, but it's still a pretty big number.

Moonves' overall compensation, including stock and option awards, for 2008 was valued at about $32 million, compared with $36.8 million in 2007, according to the company's proxy report filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. His salary and bonus totaled $13 million, down from $23.8 million in 2007.

CBS Chairman Sumner Redstone's compensation jumped to $11.9 million in 2008 from $9.7 million in 2007. Redstone's salary and bonus from CBS for 2008 also got a bump to $6.5 million, compared with $6.2 million in 2007. Redstone also netted $6.3 million in 2008 as chairman of Viacom Inc.

Moonves' base pay fell to $3.5 million from $5.3 million in 2007, while his bonus was cut almost in half to $9.5 million in 2008 as CBS stock lost 70% of its value last year. CBS said its bonus amounts are set by its board of directors and that Moonves was awarded a bonus because the company surpassed its free-cash-flow target in 2008 despite the economy.

CBS has endured a tough two years. Although the ratings for its TV network have improved this season and it is No. 1 in total viewers, a soft advertising market has made it hard for CBS to capitalize on the audience gains. Its radio operations have been struggling for the last few years, and in the first quarter of this year CBS cut its dividend by 81%.

Moonves has indicated he will not take a pay raise in 2009.

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joe.flint@latimes.com

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