Friday, March 18, 2011

Forecasting big 2010 bonuses, pay for Dubow & Co.

[Total pay inflated by now-worthless stock options]

As Corporate draws closer to unveiling details about annual pay to the top brass in 2010, a new Wall Street Journal story today says bonuses bounced back "at a speedy clip" during the year for many U.S. chief executives.

"CEO bonuses at 50 major corporations jumped a median of 30.5%, the biggest gain in at least three years,'' the Journal said. It cited a study for the paper of the first batch of corporate CEO pay disclosures by consulting firm Hay Group.

Corporate is expected to disclose annual bonuses to CEO Craig Dubow and others any day now. The information, contained in the annual shareholders proxy report, historically gets filed with federal regulators toward the end of March. The 2009 compensation details were made public a year ago today, for example.

In 2009, as GCI's finances stabilized, Dubow got a $1.45 million cash bonus -- a 66% increase from 2008, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. His total pay that year: $4.7 million.

Directors set the amounts
Then-chief finance officer Gracia Martore got a $950,000 bonus -- more than double what she received in 2008, SEC documents show; her total pay was $4 million. That significant bonus boost came in a year when she was temporary CEO during Dubow's four-month medical leave of absence. Last year, Martore was promoted to the company's No. 2 position: chief operating officer.

The board of directors decides annual compensation for top executives, taking advice from Dubow himself. Bonuses, especially those paid in cash, are an important part of executive pay. They represent hard dollars as opposed to stock awards, which fluctuate in value. In the case of stock options, they may prove worthless if shares don't rise high enough.

Since 2005, the year he became chief executive, through 2009, Dubow has received $7 million in bonuses, mostly in cash. His total compensation for those five years: $25.9 million, according to SEC filings. But much of that has been in now-worthless options. (See table, above.)

Martore has collected $2.8 million in mostly cash bonuses since 2005. Her total pay in 2005-2009, SEC filings show: $13.8 million. That, too, includes many now-worthless options.

Bonuses amid layoffs, furloughs
Today's WSJ story says bonuses in general "are rebounding as some hard-hit industries like autos recover and corporate profits climb."

Any big GCI bonuses for 2010 will be once more controversial because during the past two years, the board of directors has based the payouts partly on Corporate's success at cutting costs through layoffs and mandatory unpaid furloughs for rank-and-file employees.

Last year's one-week furlough in the first quarter resulted in a nearly 2% annual wage cut.

What's more, GCI's stock was a poor performer last year. Shares ended 2010 at $15.09, virtually unchanged from the end of 2009, when it closed at $14.85. During the same period, the widely watched S&P 500 index, a broader measure of overall market activity, rose 13%. Indeed, GCI's stock in 2010 underperformed competitors for the third consecutive year, the company acknowledged last month.

What about Dickey, Hunke?
The annual proxy report includes annual bonuses, stock awards, plus the dollar value of certain benefits for Dubow and the other four-highest paid executives. Last year, they also included U.S. newspapers President Bob Dickey and USA Today Publisher Dave Hunke.

This spreadsheet shows bonuses and total pay for Dubow and Martore going back to 2005. It also includes all available data for Dickey and Hunke.

Some details have already been published about stock awards in earlier documents with the SEC.

Related: links to GCI proxy reports with top pay for 1996-2009.


  1. And he can't even get a decent haircut.

  2. Break out that champagne, Dubow and Martore, et al. to celebrate all the jobs and lives you've destroyed for this.

  3. He can't afford a tie as well, I guess.

  4. Hope they are enjoying the high life while those working hard for them are struggling to make it and many who have been cut still look for jObs.

    Then to add insult to injury the folks selling and bringing money in to pay them, the gpc, the ccc and others are made to take furloughs while others aren't. How does that make sense?

  5. SCUMBAGS!!!

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. What a waste of money!

  8. These are obscene amounts of money. I understand that they are paying themselves for doing what they needed to do to be able to pay themselves obscene salaries and bonuses. But, it's just wrong.

  9. Not bad for a third rate tv guy. At his h.s. reunions he's no longer the pudgy kid that bullies made fun of. He's the big man on campus.

  10. 20 thousand workers gone and they're getting bonuses? Morally bankrupt and shameful.

  11. I remember when Delta airlines went into Bankruptcy and this guy Grinstein became CEO. Took a salary of $1 a year and got Delta out of bankruptcy in record time. He was a take no prisoners CEO and it came at a high cost to employees too but now Delta is doing fine. And is a success story.

  12. 9:44: Martore, Dubow and the rest of their greedy cult wouldn't bat an eye at that.

  13. I've asked his before, but I'd like to ask it again: How did Dubow get where he is?

    Hey, Mr. McCorkindale, could you possibly explain this?

    Was his TV (sales) background seen as the cutting edge that Gannett needed? What was it?

  14. Must've been out of desperation because Dubow was something like fourth or fifth choice; several offers that were extended outside GCI were declined.

  15. 9:44 Delta is not the only example. Look at what has happened at GM and Ford. In good times, few really care about what happens in the executive suites, and top managers tend to surround themselves with less than competent compatriots who can share the blame if something goes wrong, or lined up to walk the plank if there's a real disaster. Eventually, the tops of corporations become bloated and it takes a crisis to get rid of unwanted and unneeded executives. I think we are at that stage now.

  16. Dubow got the.job because the heir-apparent, Gary Watson, was thought by McCorkindale to be a too-traditional newspaper guy with a journalism background.

  17. You two disgust me3/19/2011 10:31 PM

    $25 million and $13 million respectively for no long term business plan except to keep cutting employees and downgrading the product. If I did my job that badly, I'd have been fired a long time ago. Merit pay seems to only apply to the corporate suite. What the Hell is happening to this country? Grace and Craig, you are shameful excuses for human beings and a disgrace to your profession,

  18. 9:25 So, what happened between Tom Curley and McCorkindale.

  19. Everytime I read these posts, I have the same response:
    _ How do you spend $26 million a year?
    _ If we had even half that amount at our paper, we could hire 130 reporters.
    - Pro sports players get these sort of salaries, but their careers last only a few years. How long will these people keep their jobs.
    _ Are they really producing the results that could justify this sort of salary?

  20. That was a total $25.9 million over five years -- 2005-2009 -- or an average of slightly more than $5 million a year.

    But a lot of that was in stock options that are now worthless, so the net figure is quite a bit lower for those years. Still . . .

  21. Can I just get my 6.5 percent back? I'm doing the work of two people and lost my pay and they get hefty bonuses. Really? This should be against the law.

  22. Isn't there some enterprising journalist out there who could put a spotlight on some of these pitiful practices? Instead of CNN Heroes -- CNN Zeroes! Really. What great contrasting segments -- the big bosses at home, the big bosses at golf, the big bosses on the yacht, the big bosses with their accountants. Then the laid-off pressman trying to keep a house over his kids' heads, the laid-off journo trying to keep the lights on, the laid-off copy editor hoping to find a part-time job at the local college. Talk about reality TV....

  23. Just another reason why I'm glad I got laid off from this blood-letting company. They brought out the best in me in the early years, and the worst in the latter. The brass are all do-do heads....nah. Keep your stinkin' jobs G'nett. It's just legalized slavery and extortion. Watch "Lemonade" the movie friends. It will give you a new hope in this crappy industry.

  24. God, I'm sick. Not a good idea to read these things right before or right after lunch!


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