Under Susan Zirinksky‘s reign at CBS News, more heads are rolling than under King Joffrey’s in the realm.
Yet, unlike executives at NBCUniversal, Fox Corp. and ABC parent company Disney, top executives at ViacomCBS have not taken reduced salaries amid the financial challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
During an all-staff Zoom call on Wednesday, however, when Zirinsky was asked by an employee whether pay cuts were considered, she said that cuts have been discussed at the corporate level, though they have not been enacted.
“There were discussions about pay cuts across the board at the corporate level. And that is still at the corporate level,” Zirinsky said, according to staffers who participated. “But that was not part of our discussion, and it was not anything that has been decided. That is just kind of floating out there.”
In light of the cuts at the news network, which are estimated to be in the range of 50 to 75 employees, some CBS News staffers are unhappy that the network’s parent company did not cut executive salaries first in an effort to save jobs.
“I think people are upset,” one staffer told The Hollywood Reporter. “The ViacomCBS CEO’s salary is very high. … It seems to be a sticking point amongst employees.”
*According to a new contract filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in August, ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish could make as much as $31.5 million in compensation, though the overall economic environment could push that number lower.