Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Former New York Times Co. President and CEO Janet Robinson received a payout of nearly $24 million after she was pushed out late last year, the company disclosed yesterday.
That figure — which is higher than previous estimates pegging it between $15 million and $21 million — drew fresh criticism from the Newspaper Guild, the largest union at the paper with more than 1,000 members.
The guild has been without a contract since last March and stalled talks only resumed after Robinson’s ouster. The two sides remain far apart while the company is said to be seeking to freeze pension benefits and convert to a 401(k) plan.
“In light of this information, it is impossible to see how the Times can justify its continuing demands for severe cuts in compensation and benefits for the employees it refers to, correctly, as the world’s finest journalists,” said Bill O’Meara, the guild’s president.
“This new, higher payout will only increase their anger,” he said, referring to guild members.
A Times spokeswoman said, “We believe in the collective bargaining process and any related questions should be addressed at the bargaining table.”
Robinson’s golden parachute, which was fully divulged in the company proxy statement filed yesterday, includes a special one-time “consulting” package of $4.5 million a year, requiring no more than 15 hours of work per month.
Her pay package also includes $11.4 million in retirement income, $5.39 million in performance awards, restricted stock units valued at $1.07 million and stock options worth $694,164, according to Bloomberg.
Last week, Times reporters lined the halls outside a story meeting of Executive Editor Jill Abramson and other top editors in a silent protest. Their hope was that the editors would relay the journalists’ concern over the stalled contract talks to the Times’ top brass. See video here.
Posted by Robert Daraio at 5:21 PM