Sunday, April 10, 2011

Time Warner CEO Pay $26.3 Million, NBCU CEO $34.74 Million, But Viacom CEO Wins With $84.5 Million


Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes received total compensation for 2010 of about $26.3 million, up by more than a third from what he received in the previous year.

The compensation, disclosed in a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, comes after Mr. Bewkes has transformed Time Warner, spinning off Internet business AOL Inc. and cable provider Time Warner Cable Inc., in pursuit of his vision of a pure-play multimedia content company.

Last year was Time Warner's second year in a row of stock price gains, with its shares adding about 10%. Mr. Bewkes has acknowledged the company's history of wasteful acquisitions and refocused its efforts on returning capital to shareholders.

Time Warner Chief Financial Officer John Martin's compensation for 2010 rose to $10.2 million from $6.3 million.

NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke is Comcast's Most Highly Compensated Executive, Pay not close to Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman's 84.5 million.

Steve Burke,
CEO of NBCUniversal

Meg James, Los Angeles Times reports that Steve Burke, who became chief of Comcast-controlled media giant NBCUniversal in January, received $34.74 million in 2010, topping the $31.05 million earned by his boss, Comcast CEO Brian L. Roberts. For the second consecutive year, Steve Burke received a richer compensation package than that of his boss, Comcast Corp. Chief Executive Brian L. Roberts.

Burke, who became chief executive of Comcast-controlled media giant NBCUniversal in January, was awarded a compensation package in 2010 valued at $34.74 million — a 2% increase from 2009.

His compensation last year included a $2.24-million base salary, a $3-million signing bonus (the second installment after renewing his contract in 2009) and nearly $15 million in stock and option awards.

Percentage-wise, Roberts got the bigger bump. His total package for 2010, valued at $31.05 million, was a 14% increase over his 2009 compensation. Roberts received a base salary of $2.8 million, $11 million in stock and option awards and $10.9 million in non-equity incentives. Roberts did not receive a bonus. His 2009 compensation was $27.24 million.

The Comcast executives' bounties put them in slightly higher leagues than some of their rivals in the media world. Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger collected $28 million last year, and Time Warner Inc.

Walt Disney Company Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes' 2010 package was valued at $26.3 million.

However, Viacom Inc. CEO Philippe Dauman outpaced his peers with a total compensation for 2010 valued at $84.5 million. Viacom Inc. Chief Executive Philippe Dauman was awarded salary, stock and other benefits totaling $84.5 million during the nine months of 2010 that were covered in Viacom's fiscal year.

That amount included one-time stock award worth $31.65 million -- money that was not paid to Dauman in 2010 but will vest over the next five years if the company achieves certain performance goals. The grant was bestowed on Dauman as a signing bonus in April after he extended his employment contract six and a half years. Viacom is the parent of several cable networks including MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, as well as Paramount Pictures. Dauman's second in command, Thomas Dooley, received a total package estimated at $64.7 million.

The company defended the amounts saying compensation of its top executives was based on performance measures. Viacom's common shares increased in value 22% for the nine months covered in the reporting period, significantly outperforming the market.

"About 90% of the 2010 compensation is long-term equity awards that align our executives’ interests with those of our stockholders," Viacom said in a statement. "The majority of 2010 compensation is one-time equity grants related to the previously announced long-term extensions of employment agreements, which vest over the life of those agreements. In 2010 Viacom achieved outstanding operational and financial results, including double-digit growth in operating income, adjusted net earnings and total shareholder return."

Philadelphia-based Comcast, the nation's largest cable television company, filed its compensation data for its five highest-paid executives Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In 2009, Burke received a $33.98-million package, which was boosted by the first installment of his signing bonus. The award was calculated, in part, to reflect Burke's increasing responsibilities overseeing Comcast's interest in NBCUniversal. He spent most of last year learning NBCUniversal's operations and assembling his new executive team.

Burke also spent more time on the corporate jet than Roberts. Burke and Roberts both are required to fly on the corporate jet for personal travel for security reasons. Burke's travel time added $386,752 to his compensation, while Comcast spent $195,767 to fly Roberts around.

Michael J. Angelakis, the financial architect of the NBCUniversal deal and Comcast's chief financial officer, received compensation valued at $22.9 million for 2010 — a slight increase from his $21.55-million package in 2009.

Comcast Executive Vice President David L. Cohen was given a package valued at $12.69 million, up from his $9.83-million package in 2009. Comcast general counsel Arthur R. Block received $4.23 million for 2010, down from his $6.15-million package in 2009.

Broadcast Union News: The images in this article were added by me and do not reflect the opinions of the reporters quoted here, nor their publications. - BD

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