Friday, March 22, 2013

Urgent: Martore got $3M in stock, $1.6M bonus in 2012, according to new exec compensation report

The figures for CEO Gracia Martore and Gannett's other highest-paid executives last year were disclosed moments ago in the annual shareholder's proxy report.

Combined with a substantial increase in the value of her pension, Martore's total compensation jumped to $8.5 million from $4.7 million in 2011.

In another noteworthy disclosure, the report for the first time revealed Chief Digital Officer David Payne's annual pay: $1.8 million last year. That was up from $1.7 million in 2011.

The report showed big jumps in the value of Gannett stock awards from 2011 -- increases that were due to a one-time calendar change in when shares were handed out. The change gave an extra boost to stock compensation last year after depressing it in 2011.

This table shows a breakdown of last year's compensation for Martore and six of the other highest-paid executives. Among them:
  • Bob Dickey, president of the U.S. newspaper division: $3.8 million vs. $2.7 million in 2011
  • Dave Lougee, president of the broadcasting division: $2.1 million vs. $1.7 million
  • Victoria Harker, chief financial officer: $1.5 million. Harker was named CFO in July, so her pay was for only half a year. (As well, there is no comparable figure for 2011.)
  • Paul Saleh, Harker's predecessor: $1.4 million vs. $2.2 million
The report covers a year when the company's finances grew more stable, and its share price jumped. Annual revenue last year rose 2.2% to $5.4 billion, the first annual increase since 2006.

GCI's stock soared 35%, to $18.01 at Dec. 31. Shares have continued climbing since then, closing this afternoon at $21.65.

The proxy report, issued ever spring, gives shareholders the most detailed overview of one of the more hot-button issues in Corporate America -- executive pay. It also lays out a few housekeeping items, including the agenda for the annual meeting, which this year is set for May 7 at Corporate's headquarters in McLean, Va.

Ordinarily, proxy reports show compensation for only the five highest paid executives, known as "named executive officers" or NEOs. This year's report included seven NEOs, because of management changes including Saleh's departure.

On the other hand, several high-profile names didn't appear in the NEOs list, because they weren't paid enough to meet the pay disclosure rules set by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Among them: Paul Davidson, president of the U.K. newspaper division, Newsquest; Maryam Banikarim, chief marketing officer, and Larry Kramer, publisher of the flagship, USA Today.

Interesting footnotes
Starting last year, newly hired senior executives no longer get a company-paid automobile, according to the new proxy report. Those hired earlier presumably get to keep theirs.

Also, starting this year, new senior executives will no longer be able to earmark up to $15,000 in annual Gannett Foundation grants to their favorite charities. Under Martore's predecessor, Craig Dubow, that practice had generated considerable bad publicity. [Updated at 11:25 March 23 ET to clarify that this benefit was ended only for newly hired top execs.]

The easing of both benefits is in keeping with Martore's efforts to make the company appear  more egalitarian since she was made chief executive in October 2011. (Earlier, for example, she eliminated reserved parking spaces for the top brass in the McLean parking garage.)

Martore continued to take a voluntary reduction of her base salary last year ($900,000, instead of the $950,000 approved by the board of directors, the report says. Although the board's executive compensation committee approved an increase in her base salary this year (from $950,000 to $1 million), she continues to take a reduced base salary of $900,000.

All the executives named in the report agreed to forgo base salary increases last year. Also, Martore and Dickey gave up a week's pay amid one-week furloughs they ordered for thousands of U.S. newspaper division employees.


  1. Congratulations are in order. Well done, all!!

    Pay no never-mind to the whiners.

  2. This crowd certainly deserves a bonus for bringing the stock price up from two bucks to its present level. They are much more worthy than the gang that reaped big bonuses while the company's profits shrank like George Castanza's D---.

  3. Gracia Martore is a genius and deserves to be rewarded with every hard-earned dime at every opportunity.

  4. Is that all? Why so little? She deserves so much much much more!

  5. I'm as much a communist as the next guy, but this doesn't bother me at all.

    The company did have a good year; there were no mass layoffs and things appear on a modest upswing.

    Power to the people is fine, but leadership is needed as well.


    1. remember the political and olympic benefit in 2012 everyone.

    2. So what 9:42? Gannett maximized the opportunities. I believe that is what they are suppose to do. Do you actually root for our company to fail? If so say so.

    3. Just a heads up that the comparibles will be tougher....chill, oh passionate one...:)

    4. Maybe we would take you seriously if you knew how to spell, 6:46.

    5. 2013 is going to be a very different year. I'll start rubber necking on this train wreck around uhhh....Sept 30. Good luck!

  6. With what is about to happen to the rest of us let me know if you all think this is fair. Please re-post this on June 1.

  7. Gracia is heartless, cold blooded, and has no redeeming quality as a human being that I have been able to observe, but at least she works hard at screwing us over. Bob Dickey is a lap dog, has no observable leadership abilities and is totally useless. Talk about someone that sleepwalked in to a pile of cash. Most lottery winners have done more to deserve their good fortune. That is the one that makes my blood boil.

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

  9. Well done to all....looking good for pay rises for all this year?

    1. Not if you labor in a business line in permanent decline.

    2. Or in a business which has no business plan for an increasingly digital world

  10. underpaid and overworked3/23/2013 11:25 AM

    Based on this information, I'll be interested to see if Merit pay returns, that wonderful myth which an editor say would they'd love to give to you after a good review, except corporate hasn't provided any money for Merit pay. If that isn't a Catch 22, there is the new review system which has been rolled out at some sites, which uses a social media component-not how much you use social media, but how well your articles, photo galleries and videos do, And since you the writer/photographer/videographer have no control over where and when that content is placed on the website (or if it ever appears on the website) It's a flawed metric, almost like a high school popularity contest rather than a true measure good or bad work. If you write or shoot something that crap, but trends well (think Grumpy cat licking itself or the Kardashians), it can go better than say an good investigative piece or finely shot piece of photojournalism. But I'm sure it will have the desired effect of another excuse to keep regular employee pay low so upper management can continue to get million dollar increases from their buddies on the executive compensation committee. It's all in reach. And for you corporate shills who tell me to get another job if i don't like it, there are no "other" jobs. Hey, It's all in reach.

  11. Agree....these guys deserve to be rewarded if the company's performance improves. But, let's remember that many of them were here in senior leadership positions when the stock was in the shitter.

    And if the company is doing so well that it's execs can gain huge stock windfalls, then when will the rank and file be given raises? Shouldn't we all benefit?


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