I have to say I was horrified to read that Ryan Seacrest was getting $15 million a year to host American Idol. To host, not produce, not to book a studio, not to actually produce anything but to host. To read a teleprompter and walk without falling over.
I’ve never met Mr Seacrest and I have no personal animosity but $15 million a year to host a talent show seems just wrong. Way out of balance with anything real. This is a 3x increase in salary over what he’s been getting – $5 million a year – for the same job.
That same amount of money would produce six episodes of Mad Men including paying all the far more talented cast (hey, they can act); paying the crew; locations; editors; facilities and presumably profit for the producers. All instead of paying one person to turn up.
I cannot believe that any one person brings that much value to a show. It just seems way out of balance to anything reasonable and human and really, tells me why the whole industry needs to be made over anew.
Equally stomach churning are the sums paid to the CEOs of the major media companies, even when the results they turn in are “disappointing” to say the least. Disney CEO Robert Iger earned $30.6 million last year while presiding over a 26% drop in profit at Disney? Where is the shareholder revolt? Why are they not demanding an $8 million drop in salary package?
It’s not just Iger; the rest of the crowd of losing value media company heads are all paid outrageous sums of money for the value they (don’t) bring to the companies they head.
Here’s my solution. Set a limit to the maximum ratio the highest and lowest paid employees of a company can earn. You want to increase the CEO salary, then everyone’s salary goes up to share in the (obviously great) results. Set the ratio at 100:1 if you like, but set a ratio that cannot be broken.
Until there’s some sanity I’ll be putting my efforts into demolishing that industry to start over afresh.