Six of the 10 highest-paid chief executives in the U.S. work in the same industry, according to a new study. That industry is the media, the AP reports, citing the study by executive compensation firm Equilar and the AP.
“The best-paid chief executive of a large American company was David Zaslav, head of Discovery Communications, the pay-TV channel operator that is home to ‘Shark Week.’ His total compensation more than quadrupled to $156.1 million in 2014 after he extended his contract,” the story reports.
Holding down the next position is CBS head man Leslie Moonves, who kept his No. 2 spot even as his pay package slipped from a year earlier to $54.4 million.
“The remaining four CEOs, from entertainment giants Viacom, Walt Disney, Comcast and Time Warner, have ranked among the nation’s highest-paid executives for at least four years, according to the Equilar/AP pay study,” the report notes.
The report says one reason for the high rate of compensation in media is that the other people in the industry — such as actors and other on-screen talent — are also paid well.
Steven Kaplan, a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, is quoted in the story saying: “The talent, the actors and directors and writers, they’re being paid a lot of money. In industries where the talent makes a lot of money, the CEO makes a lot of money as well.”