Nickelodeon’s soft ratings may have lightened the wallets of top Viacom execs, who saw bonus payments slashed in fiscal 2012.
CEO Philippe Dauman’s total pay package dropped 23% to $33.5 million from $43.1 million for the year ended in September. His base salary of $3.5 million was flat, but an $11 million bonus was nearly halved from $20 million. Most of the rest of his payout came from combined stock and option awards, according to a proxy statement Viacom filed with the SEC Friday.
Chairman Sumner Redstone, whom Forbes estimates is worth $4.1 billion, saw his bonus shrink to $5.7 million from $10 million.
Chief operating officer Thomas Dooley saw his drop to $9.2 million from $16 million.
“Our fiscal year 2012 results reflected both the global economic slowdown and ratings challenges at several of our cable television networks,” the company said in its year-end filing.
However, “in the face of this adversity,” the proxy noted, Viacom still managed to boost operating income and generate significant cash.
Nickelodeon ratings took a sudden, sharp dip in the fall of 2011. Viacom spent all of last year tinkering with the schedule and rolling out new shows, and the net has begun to see a turnaround. MTV also hit a rocky patch but is on the mend.
Viacom also announced it will be holding its annual meeting of shareholders on Thursday, March 21, at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood. That’s a lot closer to home for 89-year-old Redstone, who lives in Beverly Hills. The meet is usually held in Gotham, where a kerfuffle erupted last year when it seemed he might not attend.
Redstone’s pay package of nearly $21 million was about flat from the year before as a big bump in the value of his pension balanced the bonus shortfall. His base salary was unchanged at $1.75 million.
Dooley’s total compensation of $26.3 million was down 22% from $34 million. His base salary of $2.5 million was also flat.
The other two highest-paid execs at Viacom last year, general counsel Michael Fricklas and chief financial officer James Barge, pulled in packages worth $6.8 million and $2.7 million, respectively. Barge announced his departure in November and was replaced by Wade Davis.