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May 30, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Philippe Dauman

The three highest-paid media executives in 2010 all worked for companies controlled by Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements, the Los Angeles Times observed today (Monday) citing figures by Redwood City, CA., executive compensation research firm Equilar Inc. The three are Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, who drew the largest compensation package of any U.S. executive: $84.5 million; Thomas E. Dooley, Viacom’s COO, who received $64.7 million; and CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves, whose pay came to $57.7 million. As chairman of both companies, Redstone himself took home $35.3 million. By contrast, Walt Disney’s Robert Iger received $29.6 million; Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes, $26.3 million; and News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch, $22.7 million. The Times observed that one of the reasons that executives at media companies receive such sky-high compensation (t was ever thus — MGM’s Louis B. Mayer was the highest-paid executive in America for nine years beginning in 1937) is that they don’t want to appear to be making less than the talent they employ. For example, Judy Sheindlin, whose Judge Judy show is syndicated by CBS, earns more than $40 million a year. (The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, by the way, is paid $125,656 a year.)