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Who Makes What


(page 1 of 4)

Additional research by Ben Chapman, Heather Hawley and Michelle Marsili

Salaries are a touchy subject. We tend to gauge our personal worth—and that of others—by the size of the check in the pay envelope. And we like to think we’re worth more than the next guy.

It’s not easy to ask people what they make. Actually, it’s downright impertinent. But then, reporters are impertinent; it’s part of the job description. And so, every few years, we fan out and poll people from businesses and industries all over the county. In these days of uneven distribution of wealth, we’re even more curious about how the other guy is doing.

This time around, we’ve gathered the goods on a slew of San Diegans, big shot and small—media stars, sports figures, political types, 9-to-5ers and business moguls. We checked public records, called professional associations, polled insider friends and asked the man and woman on the street. In a few cases, we had to be content with a salary range; sometimes we figured an average. The results have been enlightening, puzzling, stunning and sometimes reassuring. Take a look; see if it helps or hurts the old self-image.

Top CEOs

(Includes bonuses but does not include stock options or other enticements. Figures are the most recent filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission.)
Gateway Chairman Ted Waitt  $1,800,000
Sempra CEO Richard D. Farman  1,748,000
Qualcomm CEO Irwin Jacobs  1,748,085
Jack in the Box president and CEO Robert Nugent  1,210,209
Safeskin Corporation president, chairman and CEO Richard Jaffe  876,000
Callaway Golf president and CEO Ely Callaway 840,000
Jenny Craig International CEO and vice chairman (respectively) Sid and Jenny Craig  500,000 each


(Most on-air folks have “personal services” contracts, the terms of which can vary wildly. Figures here are based on information from agents, attorneys and TV industry colleagues, who possess remarkable snooping skills.)
KFMB anchorman Michael Tuck 
KFMB anchorwoman Denise Yamada  400,000
KGTV anchorwoman Carol LeBeau  375,000
KGTV reporter Mark Matthews  65,000
KNSD anchorman Marty Levin  375,000
KNSD sportscaster Jim Laslavic  325,000
KUSI Morning News cohost Laura Buxton  110,000
KUSI Morning News cohost Stan Miller  110,000
TV news director  125,000-200,000
TV producer  45,000-60,000
TV news photographer  25,000-60,000
TV news writer  22,000
Star 100.7 morning team Jeff & Jer  1 million-plus each
Tommy Sablan (Jeff & Jer’s producer)  300,000
Ted Leitner (KFMB Radio and TV; KOGO
NewsRadio; San Diego Padres)
  1.5 million
Program director  30,000-200,000
News writer  25,000-35,000
News editor  35,000-45,000
Union-Tribune journeyman reporter (six years’ experience)  50,000
Senior editor  70,000
Arts columnist  60,000-88,000
Editorial assistant  28,000
Freelance writer for San Diego Reader  375-1,000
(per article; $1,000 to $3,000 for a cover story)

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