Bob Iger is the third-highest paid CEO in the U.S., according to a new Associated Press survey, raking in $51 million in 2008.
Sure, it was a great year for Iger and not such a great year for Disney shareholders. But that could be said about almost any of the big media bosses. The main difference may be that during the past few years, Iger has avoided disasters that could’ve turned Disney into NBCU.
•Since buying Pixar, Iger has presided over the company simply by, for the most part, leaving it alone to be creative, fun and lucrative. But, the rest of Disney’s Hollywood products have fallen off. Box office performance last year was weak and that hasn’t changed much in 2009.
•ABC’s limited cable holdings have thrived. ESPN, its crown jewel, prints money because it attracts almost exclusively the adult male demographic that every other networks is chasing. And he’s used the Disney channel as a training ground for future movie stars. ESPN, however, is in a game of chicken with cable providers, squeezing out higher and higher carriage fees. How long can that go on? And when will regional sports networks build out enough to be real competitors?
•The flagship TV network has Lost, Ugly Betty, Dancing with The Stars, and Desperate Housewives, rebuilding a network that was barren not too long ago. But, the New York Post recently reported that Group President and Iger loyalist Stephen McPherson was under pressure because ABC had lost “more viewers than any other network over that three-year period” and he was snapping up pilots to make up for it.
Overpaid or not? Tell us what you think.
Here’s the top 10, from the AP:
1. Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake Energy Corp., $112.5M
2. Sanjay Jha, Motorola, $104.4M
3. Robert Iger, Walt Disney, $51.1M
4. Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs, $42.9M
5. Kenneth Chenault, American Express, $42.9M
6. Vikram Pandit, Citigroup, $38.2M
7. Steven Farris, Apache Corp., $37.2M
8. Louis Camilleri, Philip Morris International, $36.9M
9. Kevin Johnson, Juniper Networks, $36.1M
10. Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase, $35.7M
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