Viacom airs plan for Redstone to take pay cut

first_imgNEW YORK – Viacom Inc., a media conglomerate that owns MTV and VH1, said Monday that it was cutting the cash salary and bonuses of its chairman and controlling shareholder, Sumner Redstone, and linking most of his compensation with the performance of the company’s stock. The new employment agreement ties Redstone’s pay more closely with the interests of shareholders. It is also in line with similar pay packages the company gave to Philippe Dauman and Thomas Dooley, two longtime confidants of Redstone who recently returned to run the company after Redstone ousted former CEO Tom Freston. Under the new agreement, beginning in 2007, Redstone’s salary will be reduced to $1 million per year from $1.75 million and deferred compensation of $1.3 million per year will be eliminated. Also, Redstone’s target cash bonus will be reduced to $3.5 million per year from $6.1 million. He will also receive an annual award of stock options having a grant-date value of $3 million and an annual award of performance share units with a grant-date target value of $3 million. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe Christmas Truce of 1914 proved that peace is possibleThe value of those units will depend on the return of Viacom’s stock compared with the Standard & Poor’s 500 index over a certain period, usually three years, the company said in a statement. In some cases, earnings per share will also be taken into account. Viacom had drawn scrutiny from shareholders last year with the lavish compensation packages awarded to Redstone and his two top lieutenants at the time, Freston and Leslie Moonves. Moonves now runs CBS Corp., which split from Viacom at the beginning of this year. Last year, when Viacom was still a combined company, it disclosed that it had paid Redstone a cash salary of $4.97 million in 2004 and a bonus of $16.5 million, both increases over the prior year, even though the company’s stock had declined 17 percent during the period. Freston got a salary of $4.2 million and a bonus of $16 million, while Moonves had a salary of $5.77 million and a bonus of $14 million. All three also received packages of stock options. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more