At last, the good salary guide

(First Edition)

NO TOPIC of conversation generates more interest in Los Angeles than people's salaries. Sure, everyone wants to talk about who's trying to bribe whom for an Oscar. But, in a metropolis which has historically drawn so many fortune-hunters, they want to know one thing above all else: how much do you get paid?

This question, lurking beneath so many dinner party conversations, has been answered by a survey into the salaries of a cross-section of Angelenos, from studio bosses and top chefs to limo drivers and maids. The results, compiled by Los Angeles Magazine, make intriguing reading, if only because of the enormous discrepancies they reveal.

Some winners in the City of Angels are to be expected: Michael Eisner, head of the Walt Disney Company, comes top of the list of highest paid people in publicly-traded companies. Last year he earned dollars 204m (pounds 137m), almost entirely because he sold 5.4m shares of stock. Up there in the stratosphere is Steven Spielberg, who has made dollars 72m in the last two years; Bill Cosby, with dollars 66m, and a relatively new arrival the author Michael Crichton, with dollars 24m.

But the real surprises lie elsewhere. For reasons hard to understand, even given the fierce battle for ratings, the city's local TV newsreaders are paid vast sums anything up to dollars 1.3m for peddling tawdry accounts of crime and show-biz tittle-tattle. Still more baffling are the riches lavished on TV weathermen. Although they often have little to forecast beyond uninterrupted sunshine, they are showered with cash. Top whack is dollars 550,000.

Crime pays the average burglary nets around dollars 3,000 but sex is less reliable. The heartland of America's multi-billion dollar pornography industry is in the suburbs of the San Fernando Valley, in north-west Los Angeles (epicentre of the recent earthquake). Although top porn stars may get dollars 5,000 a scene, the run-of-the-mill failed Hollywood actor receives a mere dollars 300-dollars 400. for exposing his short-comings to the world. Phone sex operators get a measly eight bucks an hour, which ends up only slightly above the annual average earnings of dollars 12,800 clocked up by more orthodox actors.

Despite a recession in southern California, the rich have been rewarding themselves with the usual largesse, according to the survey. The average chief executive's package has gone up by nearly a third in the last five years, to dollars 770,000. This has not trickled down to Los Angeles' other half, its army of Hispanic house-helps and manual workers. Hotel maids get an average of dollars 14,000 a year less than a quarter of the annual tips paid to a server in Spago's, one of Hollywood's favourite posing venues.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
newsMeet the enthusiasts determined to stop them dying out
News
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Sport
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
News
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross. Argyll, has remained derelict for more than 25 years
arts + ents
News
people

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Sport
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
books
Sport
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Opilio Recruitment: QA Automation Engineer

£30k - 38k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An award-winning consume...

Opilio Recruitment: UX & Design Specialist

£40k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Opilio Recruitment: Publishing Application Support Analyst

£30k - 35k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We’re currently re...

Opilio Recruitment: Digital Marketing Manager

£35k - 45k per year + benefits: Opilio Recruitment: A fantastic opportunity ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game