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Les Moonves’ $69.9M Makes Him Highest-Paid Media CEO of 2011 — So Far

Head of most-watched network earned 21 percent more than in 2010

CBS Corp. president and CEO Leslie Moonves received $69.9 million in compensation last year, making him the highest-paid media CEO of companies that have so far disclosed their executives' 2011 pay.

His compensation was up 21 percent from the $57.7 million he received in 2010, which was up 34 percent from the year before. His compensation was included in a Security Exchange Commission filing Friday.

CBS stock was up more than 40 percent last year.

"In fact, the company is the second best performing stock in the entire S&P 500 since March of 2009, up 11-fold in that time frame," CBS said in a statement. "The vast majority of this year’s pay is once again keyed to performance-based measures, closely aligning the overall value of the compensation with that of the Company’s shareholders."

Also read: CBS Q4 Profits Soar on Streaming Deals

CBS executive chairman Sumner Redstone received $20.3 million in 2011, almost exactly the same amount he received in 2010.

Moonves' compensation included a base salary of $3.5 million, plus a $27.5 million bonus, $8.5 million in stock awards, and $27.3 million in option awards. Redstone's included a $1.75 million base, a $10 million bonus, $5.5 million in stock awards, and $3 million in option awards.

In 2010, Moonves was the second-highest paid media executive behind Viacom president and CEO Philippe P. Dauman, whose $84.5 million in compensation also made him the highest-paid U.S. CEO overall. For the latest fiscal year, Dauman received a mere (irony intended) $43.1 million.

Also read: The New Tech Kingpins, Who Are Apple's Tim Cook & Google's Larry Page?

The highest-paid CEO overall for 2011 depends on how you count. The New York Times says Apple CEO Tim Cook's $378 million makes him the best compensated. But a Fortune report argues that the $378 million figure is misleading because Cook will only receive the money if he remains with the company over 10 years.

The Times' list of highest-paid executives, compiled with help from executive-pay tracking firm Equilar, found that Oracle's Lawrence J. Ellison followed Cook last year with $77.6 million in compensation, and that he was followed by J.C. Penny's Ronald B. Johnson at $53.3 million.

Moonves would appear to have bumped Johnson for the third-place spot — if you accept that Cook is indeed No. 1.

And there are still more SEC filings to come.

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