But the document and the group's website reveal little about what Neuharth (left) did for that $425,545. His Freedom Forum bio says he's "founder and senior advisory chairman," and notes that he lives in Florida: "Neuharth resides in Cocoa Beach in a renovated log cabin called Pumpkin Center. He does his writing there in a beachside treehouse that overlooks the Kennedy Space Center launch pads."
Freedom Forum is a charitable foundation run by former top Gannett executives. It's about to open its newest high-profile project: the $450 million Newseum, in Washington, D.C. The museum devoted to news follows the group's early history of lavish spending, as Columbia Journalism Review reported six years ago: "By 1991, critical articles were appearing about lush living at Freedom Forum, and that year the attorney general in New York state, where the group was then registered, started an investigation,'' CJR said. "By the time it was over, in 1994, the foundation had been compelled to promise to halt the excessive or imprudent expenditures that might violate its nonprofit status."
Freedom Forum's lofty slogan is: "Free press, free speech and free spirit.'' So, I gave marketing vice president Susan Bennett a jingle late yesterday afternoon, and asked her about Neuharth's work and very generous compensation. Among my questions:
- What are Neuharth's specific job duties?
- What was the purpose of his expense account?
- Did he work 40 hours a week year round?
- Who determines his compensation?
- Is there a committee of the board of trustees who sets his compensation?
- How much was Neuharth paid last year?
Bennett took down my questions, and said she expected someone would provide answers today.
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