Digital Music News reports that RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol made $1.5 million in 2006. This is not an outrageous amount by CEO standards, but when you consider that Bainwol’s salary is being paid by member record labels, who themselves are struggling to make money, one wonders…
Couldn’t some of that money have been better spent finding and nurturing new artists or coming up with a profitable means of online distribution? Apparently, the labels think it’s more important to keep the RIAA well-fed so it can go after anything that threatens their businesses.
Digital Music News: RIAA chairman and chief executive Mitch Bainwol pulled an annual salary of nearly $1.5 million in 2006, according to IRS documents obtained by Digital Music News. The filing covers the annual period ending March 31st, 2006, and specifically reveals a Bainwol salary of $1.46 million, plus $17,175 in benefits. The payout was easily rivaled by president Cary Sherman, who pulled a base salary of $974,231, plus benefits totaling $584,287.
The salaries represent a significant raise from 2005, according to an earlier filing. During that period, Bainwol was paid $1.23 million in base compensation, and $117,522 in benefits. Sherman received a similar bump from a base of $920,000, and benefits of $104,482.
Furthermore, considering the low salaries being paid to record-label employees now, we’re sure some staffers wish this money was directed inward. Particularly, WMG CEO Edgar Bronfman, whose base pay is $1 million, and new EMI head Elio Leoni-Sceti who will reportedly make less than $1 million a year. You know your label’s in trouble if you’re getting paid less than the head of the trade organisation designed to protect you.
NYP: Elio Leoni-Sceti, the chief executive of EMI Music, is said to be paid less than $1 million a year plus incentives – which pales in comparison to the $18 million Doug Morris, the CEO of Universal Music Group earned in 2005.
True, Morris has been with UMG for a long time and Universal is twice the size of EMI here in the US, but the difference in pay is still startling. The same is true for executives in all levels of the music business.
“The era of the standard promo guy making $350,000-$700,000 a year is over,” said one source familiar with the situation. “There’s not a lot of million-plus players on the label level outside of the label heads.”
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