I see you are an expert in media biz too, Ryan. Granted, with my nearly 20 years in I'm not quite as expert as you, but try to follow along...
Back in the day when folks listened to radio instead of IPods, Jack Mitchell and Denny Schaefer were worth big money to their stations because they made those stations MILLIONS of dollars in advertising revenue over the years due to their dominant ratings. Denny owned the persons 12-34 demo and Mitch & Mary Beth had a stranglehold on the all important persons 25-54 "money" demo. What is "big money" to you is actually a fraction of the billing they pulled in...and their station owners at the time (Fritz Broadcasting for M&MB; Noble Broadcasting, then Clear Channel for Denny) knew it.
He and Mary Beth were #1 every ratings book during their tenure at K-100. Every single ratings book. K-100 was not #1 until he and Mary Beth arrived. Most smart people (like Jack) know their worth and he was able to parlay the threat of him walking to another station into bigger and bigger contracts. Denny did this too.
Mitch lived in a beautiful Ottawa Hills home. You don't get to that neighborhood on 70-100Gs per year. Nor do you stay there because you had a few good years...you need to keep the income rolling AND sack away enough for retirement--something Jack has been able to do easily. And before you say something like "he's a poser-he's just putting on appearances", then you have no idea who the man is. A straight up professional and, although possessing an ego, is not a personality to flash "bling" around. He could afford to live there comfortably and retire early. He is set for life.
Also, it ain't just about the salary--the endorsements pay BIG bucks. Morning show endorsements at $100-$150 for the host per live 60 second spot. TV commercials. V/O work. It all adds on top of the salary, if you have the listeners to pull it off.
I will grant you that NOBODY outside of the major markets is making that kind of money anymore. Radio simply doesn't command listening because people have their own portable content providers (IPods & Smartphones). Wait until the way radio ratings are measured in Toledo changes next year--you'll see "more music" morning shows with NO personalities. It's already happening in the big markets and Toledo will fall into line too. The era of the morning "star" shows is just about concluded.