CBS CEO Les Moonves got a big pay bump to nearly $70 million last year


Les Moonves

REUTERS / Danny Moloshok

CBS CEO Les Moonves got a huge pay bump last year, with his total comp reaching $69.55 million, up 22.5% from 2015, according to an SEC filing Friday.


Part of that package was a massive $32 bonus in cash and another $32 million in stock awards. Moonves' salary was $3.5 million. The filing cites the total CBS shareholder return of 37% in 2016 as evidence of Moonves' leadership.

In the filing, the board wrote in the filing that Moonves was instrumental in "developing and producing CBS-owned content that generates both high ratings and lucrative licensing opportunities."

One particular area the filing stressed was Moonves' leadership in helping CBS navigate the digital future.

The filing mentions Moonves helping secure "skinny-bundle" and "streaming" deals. In the industry, CBS has been a notoriously tough negotiator on new internet TV packages, and as a result wasn't on some of the early ones, like Sling TV and DirecTV Now. However, CBS is on the recently launched YouTube TV and Hulu's upcoming service.


The filing also point to CBS' performance in making its own a-la-carte streaming services.

"Mr. Moonves demonstrated to key stakeholders that CBS remains a leader in the evolving media landscape by developing and expanding the Company's streaming products, such as CBS All Access and Showtime, to better position the Company for the digital future," the filing said. In February, Moonves said both had reached around 1.5 million subscribers.