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JPMorgan Chase CEO: Newspaper Industry Pay 'Just Damned Outrageous' [UPDATE]

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Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The chief executive of the biggest bank in the United States says journalists are ridiculously overpaid.

At the company's annual investor day, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon called the percentage of newspaper company revenue paid out to employees "just damned outrageous," according to Bloomberg News. "Worse than that, you [the media] don’t even make any money!"

Dimon then defended his company's own pay levels, arguing it necessary in the struggle to retain top talent. "We are going to pay competitively," he said, according to the WSJ. "We need top talent, you cannot run this business on second-rate talent."

Dimon himself took home roughly $23 million in 2011, about the same as the year before, according to Bloomberg. Compare that to newspaper reporters, who earn an average salary of $43,780 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or between $20,000 and $60,000 per year according to Payscale.

For fun, let's just compare a bit more. The average reporter at The New York Times earns about $93,000 per year, according to Glassdoor.com. The New York Times Company reported an operating profit of $56.7 million in 2011.

Dimon's salary not only dwarfs that of us media-folk; he's also making millions more than most of his employees. The average JPMorgan employee made $341,552 last year, according to Bloomberg News.

But that number could drop. The bank warned its employees in November that their pay and bonuses might be lower depending on the company's performance, according to Bloomberg. The company ultimately turned a $19 billion profit in 2011.

JPMorgan spokesperson Jennifer Kim wrote in an e-mail Wednesday that Dimon was saying that the compensation-to-revenue ratio is "almost always higher at firms with lots of human capital -- such as law firms, investment banks and even newspapers, rather those types of companies, like steel companies, whose capital is mainly in their materials, factories, etc."

UPDATE: This post has been updated to include a statement from JPMorgan Chase.

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