Shall we all shed a collective tear for Viacom Inc.'s CEO Philippe Dauman? He has weighed in as one of the highest-paid chief executives in the land the last couple of years, although, according to the company, his pay was affected by the dreadful economy in 2010.
Mr. Dauman…sniff sniff…didn't receive a raise or a “target bonus” in 2009, the media conglomerate said, “due to a compensation freeze imposed in light of difficult economic conditions.” As a result, his pay for that tres difficult year was only—drumroll, please—$34 million, reported Crain's New York Business magazine, a sister publication of Tire Business.
While we're getting the violins cued up, might as well let you know that Mr. Dauman makes more in an hour than the median U.S. worker makes in a year, Crain's noted.
By the way, in case you're keeping score: Median household income in the U.S. declined by an estimated 2.9 percent in 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Meanwhile, another media mogul in his own right, Leslie Moonves, the CEO of CBS, pulled in a cool $43 million in 2009. That ain't chump change and, according to Crain's, was 1,302 times the median wage in the U.S. Upping the ante, CBS awarded him $57 million last year.
The Crain's report put an exclamation point to the whole exec comp thing by quoting “renowned financial journalist” Roger Lowenstein, who said, “No metrics can justify such plunder.” Then, just in case anyone missed his point, he accused Viacom executives of “pathological greed.”
But…but…Gordon Gekko said “greed is good,” daddy.
For the crook who has (or perhaps wants) everything, a report out of the cop shop in Yukon, Okla., said that two persons broke into a Hibdon Tires Plus outlet recently and stole a flat-screen TV and, ahem, an ashtray.
According to a story on Oklahoma City's KOCO TV website, police officers were led on a high-speed chase eventually joined by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, which finally “performed a skilled maneuver” to stop the getaway truck. The driver was arrested and the passenger, who took flight, also was caught.
No word on whether the prized “five-finger discount” was a tire ashtray—ya know, they're worth a lot of money in some circles.
The 'yuck factor'
This pushes the boundaries of all that is right and decent.
Bizarre magazine, a “fetish” and “oddities” pub put out by Dennis Publishing, was to feature in its April issue a cover model—wearing thigh-high PVC boots and underwear. OK, you say, typical mag cover stuff, right?
For the more prurient among us, the “hook,” so to speak, is that the British magazine cover is, uh, kind of interactive. To put it bluntly, it's a “scratch 'n' sniff” special edition. Readers who like the whiff of unmentionable rubber/latex—if you catch our drift—will be in hawg heaven.
This, that & the other
License plates roulette—Spotted in the Cleveland area: “I Am Busy” and “Brew4U.” Combine them and it could be someone busy making some beer for you.
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Send us what?—The Tire Business office fax machine (yes, in this hyper-electronic age some people still send faxes) recently received a one-page fax explaining that in 2006 the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) gave fax recipients the right to opt-out from receiving future faxes. Especially of the junk variety.
So what does this fax say? “Fax us your unwanted faxes.”
Really. And it gave a number and said to send them to the “EnviroFax Commision,” noting: “We will contact the sender and have your fax number permanently removed from their fax list. The sender has 30 days to comply.”
We toyed with the idea of sending Enviro its fax and telling it to cease and desist.