CBS Chief Takes Big Pay Cut

NEW YORK: CBS CEO Leslie Moonves made $20.8 million in 2008, down 69 percent from the year before, according to The Associated Press. His salary was $3.5 million compared to $5.3 million in 2007, the news service said. His cash bonus was $9.5 million in 2008. It was $18.5 million the year before. The value of his perks and restricted stock also fell.

The Eye Network parent corporation posted a net loss of $11.7 billion on revenues of nearly $14 billion for 2008. Earlier this month, it announced a five-cent dividend payment on July 1, for shareholders of record as of June 10.

CBS (NYSE: CBS) also was put on downgrade watch this month by Standard & Poor’s on fears that the continued ad sales slump would bring the company above S&P’s leverage threshold. Around two-thirds of CBS’s revenues are from advertising. S&P competitor Fitch kept CBS at “stable,” saying it could handle debt payments even with diminished earnings.

CBS was trading at around $5.85 mid-day, after starting out the year at nearly $9 and dipping as low as $3.06 in March when the most recent 5-cent dividend was paid. The company’s 52-week high was $25.