Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tale of two bonus cuts: Dubow vs. your co-worker

[Proxy detail shows '08 salary, bonuses for top execs; complete table]

Even after his 2008 bonus was whacked in half, Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow still got $875,000, according to the new proxy report to shareholders. And that was on top of his $1.2 million salary, plus all the other millions the 54-year-old has made since 1981, when he began climbing Corporate's ladder.

Meanwhile, another employee told me their bonus got reduced, too. But I bet they feel it a lot more: "I work at one of the smaller Gannett properties in middle management. Finally were given our year-end bonus last week -- six weeks late, and when I got it, it was 33% less than last year. I was told due to no money. So I get $1,000 and work my ass off to cover for furloughs and not have any overtime in my department, and Dubow gets $875,000. That sucks."

Questions for Dubow
Don't you have enough already? Stockholders have paid you millions over the past 27-plus years. Did you consider giving up your bonus -- if only for a year, in solidarity with your co-workers? You know, the folks laboring in the trenches -- most with only a sliver of your wealth, but an overabundance of fear.

You knew your 2008 pay would get extra scrutiny. It was a year, after all, when you and your team laid off thousands of workers, while reducing retirement benefits and wages for thousands more, who now have little job security in a major recession. It was a wonderful opportunity for you -- and your fellow board members -- to show critically needed leadership, compassion, selflessness.

So, how do you think you did?

Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write gannettblog[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the green rail, upper right.


  1. wow, that's news to me - a middle manager at a gannett paper gets a bonus? Seriously? What other middle managers get bonuses?

  2. 4:13 pm and others: Please do not assume this employee works at a newspaper; Gannett owns hundreds of businesses, after all.

  3. Just be glad you have a job and got a bonus at all. The way I've always seen it. The people who get the bonuses usually don't do the majority of the work, it's the people under them.

  4. 4:4

    I beg to differ I work in a 5 person department and my manager is a working manager

  5. This whole situation is yet another indication of the criminally diseased morality that governs business in America.

    Thousands upon thousands of employees who actually do what they are paid to do, successfully, are taking pay cuts, in the form of furloughs or salary reductions and frozen pensions. Every one of these people is suffering because of that. Their significant others and children are hurting because of it as well.

    Yet the top-level managers actually responsible for the disastrous state of Gannett are still pulling down huge bonuses. Money that was extracted, with much blood and suffering, from the wallets of the people who actually make the company run. Doofus's bonus may have been cut in half, and yes he took a pay cut too, but he still takes enough money home to buy a new yacht every year. It's just not the same thing as punishing the grunts who are barely holding onto their status as members of the lower middle class.

    If I believed in a god, or in a Satan, I would be fervently praying to him or her to damn these bloodsuckers to burn in hell forever. They are loathsome.


    CEO Dubow received a big bonus LAST YEAR after a terrible performance over many of the factors he controls.

    Another year (2008) of terrible performance, and guess what, the 2008 board of directors passes along a bonus even though they say they "pay for performance."

    It is time for Dubow to leave. He is clueless; has no leadership skills or vision.

  7. Craig isn't worth a plug nickle.

  8. I don't think anyone who works for Gannett and gets any kind of bonus should have anything negative to say about it. Tons of people will work their tails off for this company for their whole career and not see a dime in bonus money. No pity here.

  9. I watched many talented people get laid-off last year. I'm not crying for the SOB!

  10. As someone said in another post (and I've often thought this myself), how much money is ENOUGH money?! When you start seeing the totals on these (undeserved) executive bonuses, it's astounding. Once you have enough bedrooms for every family member and maybe a guestroom or two...a few boats, a few much more do these people realistically NEED? How many cars can you drive and vacation homes can you visit? How many outfits do you need?
    I'm a die hard capitalist but even this nonsense (along with AIG and Chase, etc), seriously makes me question the idea of socialism and the uneven distribution of wealth in this country. Look, if a person gets rich through years of hard work...God Bless him. But going to Wharton or Harvard, joining the old boy network and learning to bilk poor people isn't exactly what the American work ethic started out as. Does anyone here think Madoff actually ever worked a day of physical labor in his adult life?? Or his wife for that matter?

  11. I have worked in the newsroom of a Gannett newspaper for 20 years. What is a bonus?

  12. Thousands laid off, salaries cut, and Dubow gets all that. Out of curiosity, what exactly does he actually do to earn that much from Gannett? I mean, what does he really do during a given day to earn his huge salary?

    No jokes, no sarcasm either. Someone please post here what he does to make that much?

    I'd really like to know.

  13. Poor Craig, I'd happily send him the risible, insulting £8.50 Newsquest gave me a couple of years ago.

    Can someone who is morally bankrupt go for Chapter 11?

  14. No one likes CEO pay. But if they own shares, they are thus not just CEOs, but part owners.

    I don't think Dubow deserved the bonus -- not because I believe in "solidarity," as San Franciscoan Jim Hopkins does, but because the company as a whole struggled. When you lay off people who have worked for decades with sudden severance, as was done in December, you don't deserve a bonus.

  15. These folks really do live in a reverse universe. During my tenure at USAT, if my job performance had shown a negative (like the stock price) I would certainly not get a raise, never mind a bonus. In fact, the EXIT sign probably would beckon. The nation is outraged about AIGs bonuses and many of those were not as big as Mr. Dubow's ... what a world.

  16. 7:33 hits it right on the head. A whole lot of Americans are asking that question these days, especially with the AIG mess. Dubow is just one more example, close to home for us, of the culture of greed.

    To the men and women at the top, NOTHING is enough. This is nothing new, either. We just didn't pay much attention to it before.

    You can live extremely comfortably on $100,000 a year. I know plenty of people who would kill to make half that. And yet the golden people with "chief" or "vice" in front of their names take home far more than 10 times that, easily.

  17. I wonder if Sen. Charles Grassley would offera solution to Gannett's bonus problems?

  18. My bonus this year? $0. A reduction of 100%.

  19. AP reports Gannett lost $6.6 billion last year (
    Dubow got an $875,000 bonus for it.
    I was part of the executive team at a smaller Gannett newspaper that made $7 million NIBT last year.
    I got laid off.
    Go figure.

  20. Here's another take from

    By Joan Voight , March 19, 2009

    Gannett Slashed CEO's Pay 60%
    The Associated Press
    Gannett cut its chief executive's pay package by 60% last year, passing along the financial misery that has tormented the largest U.S. newspaper publisher as its stock price and profit shrank.

    CEO Craig Dubow's 2008 compensation was valued at $3.1 million, based on newly disclosed SEC figures. That's down from 2007 compensation of $7.9 million, which included stock options. As big as the pay cut, it still fell short of the 79% plunge in Gannett's market value that erased $8 billion in shareholder wealth last year. Dubow's 2008 pay consisted mostly of a $1.17 million base salary and a $875,000 bonus. It reflects Dubow's decision to lower his base pay to $1 million in November from $1.2 million, a 17% reduction that will remain in effect through 2009. Gannett's board cut Dubow's 2008 bonus in half, to $875,000. This year, the company also stopped paying for Dubow's home security.

  21. My bonus was cut by 60 percent. On the upside, 60 percent of nothin is nothin

  22. What determines which Gannett businesses issue bonuses and which do not? Some Gannett newspapers pay reporters a full week's paycheck at the end of the year. Others don't have any bonuses whatsoever. Does anyone know whether the company issue criteria for bonuses? Is it something that is subject to the local publisher, EE or ME?


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