Beleaguered media employees will be happy to know that media CEOs don't make
that much money compared with the rest of America's top executives.
Forbes Magazine released its list of highest-paid CEOs and only one media
mogul was in the top 25. That was Ralph Roberts, Comcast Corp.'s
founding patron, who earned almost $70 million last year.
Next in line is Viacom Inc.'s Sumner Redstone, who earned $15.6 million in 2001.
No. 75 is Gannett Co. Inc.'s Douglas McCorkindale, who was paid $11.3 million.
Nearly last on the list was The Walt Disney Co.'s Michael Eisner, who comes in at No. 458
and made about $1 million.
Of course, this all changes if you look instead at the "market value of
shares owned" column. In that case, Redstone is the fourth-highest-compensated
CEO in the country, worth nearly $10 billion.
Following Redstone at No. 6 is EchoStar Communications Corp. CEO Charlie
Ergen, who only makes $2.1 million per year but is worth $6.8 billion in EchoStar
Ergen's chief rival, News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch, comes in eighth. Murdoch is worth $5.4
billion in stock, but Forbes did not list his annual compensation.
Following closely behind Murdoch at No. 10 is USA Networks Inc.'s Barry Diller,
worth nearly $3.5 billion.
Clear Channel Communications Inc.'s L. Lowry Mays is also in the top 25, and he is
worth $1.4 billion.
The Washington Post's Donald Graham is worth $1.1 billion.
But even in that category, Eisner comes in at the low end: He owns about $308
million in Disney stock. Eisner has also taken a huge pay cut -- over the past five
years, his compensation totaled $730 million.