Friday, March 25, 2011

What Dubow's gold watch is worth now: $23 million

Whether it's a gold retirement watch, or a "golden parachute" severance deal, Gannett's top executives take home really big payouts when they leave the company, a newly released GCI report shows. And that's in addition to the seven-figure paychecks they already get.

Once a year, the company gives investors new cost estimates for these exit packages, reflecting considerations that include GCI's current share price, plus individual executives' stock holdings. The estimates appear in the annual shareholders' proxy report; the latest was filed yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Following are the highlights.

Here's how much the top two would get if they quit right now:
  • Chairman and CEO Craig Dubow, age 56: $22.5 million
  • Chief Operating Officer Gracia Martore, age 59: $13.4 million
In the event of a "change in control" over the company, a handful of senior executives are entitled to even richer so-called golden parachute payments. A change in control includes the company's outright sale, or the accumulation of 20% or more of its total shares by a single investor. The value of these executives' payouts:
  • Dubow: $45.1 million
  • Martore: $34.1 million
  • U.S. newspapers President Bob Dickey, age 53: $14.9 million
  • USA Today Publisher Dave Hunke, age 58: $11.6 million
  • Broadcasting President Dave Lougee, age 52: $5.6 million
  • Chief Financial Officer Paul Saleh, age 54: $4.0 million
How's your retirement looking? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.


  1. Why the parachutes? Don't people in their income bracket stash a bit of cash for a "rainy" day?

    All of these folks should have million put away without the Gannett shareholders further subsidizing them.

    Isn't this what they call corporate welfare?

  2. "You better take your diamond ring, you better pawn it babe...

  3. Great reporting, Jim. Please keep it up.

  4. Just sayin' here that as these parachutes-of-the-Mother G-stars grow into the tens of millions, the overall Gannett pension fund (for the rest of us) has been shrinking. In the past three filings it has gone from being more than 100% funded into the 80-85% range. I'm guessing we won't be living close to Dubows of the world ... perhaps under the nearest interstate overpass to one of his mansions

  5. My dad taught me about golden parachutes when I was a teenager, probably to prepare me for the realities of working for a large corporation where the Puritan Work ethic (work hard and you will be rewarded) isn't in effect for people in the middle class working in the trenches. And to anyone who would accuse me pf preaching "class warfare" look at the pay checks, the retirement and golden parachute that Craigy-poo and "say goodnight" Gracie are getting. Now look at the performance of this company and tell me with a straight face that they earned it. Shame on you, Craig and (dis) Grace, especially when you announce second Q furloughs and try and sympathized with your over worked and under paid employees.
    Oh and my 401K is performing like a Yugo driving uphill in a headwind...

  6. Leaving with that much money after such a destructive tenure is immoral.


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