Viacom’s Freston Sees Compensation Rise in 2005

Apr 14, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Viacom CEO Tom Freston earned a total of $22.7 million, compared with $20.4 million in 2004, fueled by a higher base salary and restricted stock awards, which more than offset a decline in his annual bonus, according to a filing submitted Friday to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. Freston’s total remuneration for 2005 represents what he earned before Viacom was split into two separate companies late last year.

According to the filing, Mr. Freston received a base salary of $5.3 million last year, compared with a base of $4.2 million a year earlier. His 2005 bonus was $13 million, versus $16 million in 2004. In addition, Mr. Freston received nearly $4.3 million in restricted stock awards.

Mr. Freston became CEO of Viacom late last year when Viacom split itself into two companies. Mr. Freston’s piece of the business is seen as the growth company and comprises cable assets of MTV Networks and BET along with Paramount Pictures. The other piece became CBS, which holds the radio and television broadcasting assets, along with publishing, outdoor advertising and premium cable channel Showtime, is considered the slow-growth company.

Meanwhile, CBS Chairman Sumner Redstone, who also holds the same title at the CBS, earned a total base salary paid by both companies of more than $5.8 million, plus a bonus from Viacom of $7.13 million. He also received restricted stock awards totaling nearly $4.3 million.