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The Pay Check: Former CBS chief Ianniello's exit package; Disney execs' pay cuts

S&P Global Market Intelligence's regular look at executive compensation in the U.S. technology media and communications industries.

Top news

* Former CBS acting CEO Joe Ianniello pulled in about $125.4 million in compensation and severance payments in 2019.

Ianniello served as president and acting CEO of CBS until the closing of the company's merger with Viacom Inc. on Dec. 4, 2019, at which time he became chairman and CEO of the CBS business. Ianniello left ViacomCBS Inc. on Jan. 31. Ianniello was paid $2.8 million in salary, $37.4 million in stock awards, and about $84.7 million in other compensation in 2019. By contrast, Ianniello received a compensation package totaling $27.4 million in 2018.

ViacomCBS President and CEO Bob Bakish earned $8.4 million in total compensation for fiscal year 2019, including $230,769 in salary, $3.1 million in bonus, and about $5.0 million in stock awards. CFO Christina Spade saw her 2019 compensation increase to about $9.4 million from $2.0 million in 2018, thanks largely to an increase in stock awards.

* Executives at The Walt Disney Co. agreed to take salary cuts to help the company "weather the extraordinary business challenges" associated with the coronavirus outbreak. Former CEO and Executive Chairman Bob Iger agreed to forfeit his car allowance and base salary, except for the amount necessary to fund his contributions to continue to participate in Disney's health benefits plan.

New CEO Bob Chapek gave up 50% of his base salary. Senior Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Alan Braverman; Senior Executive Vice President and CFO Christine McCarthy; Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Mary Parker; and Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Zenia Mucha also agreed to reductions to their base pay.

READ MORE: Sign up for our weekly coronavirus newsletter here, and read our latest coverage on the crisis here.

In other compensation news:

* Graham Holdings Co. CEO Timothy O'Shaughnessy elected to relinquish 50% of his 2020 base salary amid the coronavirus outbreak. Executive Vice President Andrew Rosen also gave up 50% of his base salary for the year. All other executive officers, including the senior vice president of planning and development, chose to forgo 20% of their base salaries.

* Meredith Corp. entered into a separation agreement with former Vice President and CFO Joseph Ceryanec. Pursuant to the agreement, Ceryanec will net a lump sum payment of $1.4 million to satisfy all his claims under certain of the company's cash incentive and bonus plans, as well as receive other reimbursements. Meredith also entered into a severance agreement with its new Vice President and CFO Jason Frierott.

* Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. CEO Christopher Eccleshare's 2019 compensation increased to roughly $10.6 million from $4.8 million the year before. Eccleshare received $1.3 million in salary, about $3.0 million in stock awards, $4.5 million in option awards and $1.5 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation. CFO Brian Coleman's pay package rose to $2.5 million from $736,602 in 2018.

* IHeartMedia Inc.'s Chairman and CEO Bob Pittman will give up his salary for the rest of 2020 and his annual incentive bonus amid the coronavirus outbreak. President, CFO and COO Rich Bressler and other senior management team members also will take salary cuts in the range of 30% to 70% for the rest of the year, according to a company memo reprinted by RAMP.

* Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. is temporarily reducing the annual base salaries for several executives at the company in response to the coronavirus outbreak. CEO Joshua Marks' salary was reduced by 33%, while President and CFO Christian Mezger and Chief Accounting Officer R. Jason Everett saw base salary reductions by 25% and 20%, respectively, subject to applicable legal requirements.

* Verizon Communications Inc. is offering enhanced compensation packages to its "dedicated employees who must deploy outside their homes to meet critical customer needs" amid the coronavirus outbreak. Although Verizon did not disclose the terms of the compensation increase, the company said eligible network, logistics and real estate employees will receive an enhancement on top of their regular base wages.

* Salem Media Group Inc. CEO Edward Atsinger III saw his total compensation slightly increase to $1.3 million for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2019. Atsinger received $805,096 in salary and $397,147 in restricted stock awards. David Evans, president of new media and David Santrella, president of broadcast media, were paid $567,778 and $621,182, respectively, in 2019.

* In conjunction with his appointment as RealNetworks Inc.'s CFO and treasurer, Judd Lee will receive an annual base salary of $335,000. His target annual bonus opportunity will equal to 75% of his base salary based on the achievement of certain pre‑established goals determined by the compensation committee. Lee is also guaranteed a bonus of $115,000 for fiscal year 2020, among other benefits. Lee's appointment as the company's CFO and treasurer is effective early in the second quarter.

* T-Mobile US Inc.'s board of directors approved the grant of a special one-time award of performance-based restricted stock units with an aggregate grant-date value of approximately $15.0 million to President of Technology, Neville Ray.