It’s good to be the king, Mel Brooks famously joked in “History of the World: Part 1.”
When it comes to the entertainment business, he was especially right. There’s never been a richer time to wear the crown at the media conglomerates that churn out the world’s most popular television shows and movies. CBS’ Les Moonves, Discovery’s David Zaslav and Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes each took home salary and compensation packages in 2017 that dwarfed those of Silicon Valley pashas such as Apple’s Tim Cook ($12.8 million) or Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg ($8.9 million), despite the fact that Cook’s and Zuckerberg’s companies boast far greater market share and cultural cachet.
“It’s a warped economic system,” says Rosanna Landis Weaver, program manager of the CEO Pay Program at shareholder advocacy group As You Sow.