Thursday, March 13, 2008

Breaking: Dubow snares $1.75 million bonus

Gannett just disclosed the big paychecks given to top brass last year -- including CEO Craig Dubow (left), who got a $1.75 million bonus on top of his $1.2 million in base pay -- the same as 2006. Amazing: no cut in bonus! Check out the screenshot (above) from the summary compensation table in the annual proxy report to shareholders, filed today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

All in all, the board of directors is delivering a strong signal that it remains confident in Dubow and his team -- despite the fact Gannett's stock last year turned in the second-worst performance among major newspaper publishers I follow. Shares are now down nearly 50% from a year ago.

So, why a bonus for Dubow? Mainly, the 60-page report says, the board's compensation committee wanted to "recognize" him for "continuing to provide leadership and vision, developing and articulating the strategic direction of the company, and fostering an environment in which the senior management team was able to support and execute the strategy he articulated.''

Here's the full compensation table, showing stock awards and other goodies; click on it, for a more readable view. For all the footnotes, go to the proxy report, starting on this page.)


  1. That is OUTRAGEOUS. I'm so glad I resigned from Gannett this year for a company with a healthier bottom line. It truly angers me. Gannett stock plummeted almost $50 a share inside of a year and he gets a $1.75 million bonus? And reporters and editors are making due with less staff, less resources - I'm beyond shocked, but not surprised -- no wonder people in Cherry Hill are literally crapping on the floor! Wake up folks! There is something truly wrong with this picture.

  2. That's horrible. How come we don't get at least $1 million for sleeping through the days?

  3. The Dubow Master Plan

    1. Layoff 43 people from ONE department at USA Today

    2. Issue raises that amount to less than $20 a month.

    3. PROFIT!

    Of course the real culprits to hold accountable on this may be the the executive compensation committee, who judging by this, are horrible business people. The good 'ole boy(& girl) network is alive and well.

    Of course their excuse would be that they must maintain the compensation to ensure that the GCI executives are not lured away to competitors.

    Well guess what... at this point I am not sure that should be a priority. Based on what we have been seeing having a few jump to greener pastures may be what is needed.

    Of course that pasture would be made green by all the cash they would get paid to go away.

  4. I would love to see a Gannett-wide strike of ALL employees in protest. Will never happen, but it's a dream that makes me smile.

    FYI ... if Dubow's, Matore's and SCJ's combined bonuses were redistributed among Gannett's 85 papers (equally mind you), that would be a net gain of $33,000 per paper ... roughly one FTE.

    But alas, corporate America has no conscience. And people, some anyway, wonder why Obama's campaign of hope and change resonates with so many.

  5. What exactly are they doing to "earn" their bonus? Oh, thats right the company is going so great....

  6. A few interesting things with this. If you expand the larger spreadsheet you'll see that total compensation year over year has dropped for all these folks (I'm sure because the other line items are connected to stock prices).

    And then a second thing... If you look just at base compensation you'll note that all of them got percentage increases greater than folks who are rated as "Superior" (a 4 on a scale of 1-5 where just about no one gets a 5). I think this point is the most insulting to all those folks in the company who are considered by management to be the highest performing employees.

  7. Your point about their increases is a good one. If I had only known that I just needed to help ruin the company in order to get the biggest raise, I could have had at it.

    Their base increases and their bonuses are another disgusting example of the corporate greed that has taken over the company. And, sure, some will say it's not just Gannett and they're right, but we work for Gannett.

  8. Typical corporate pig. How long are Americans going to stand for this crap? And when are the people at the top of the journalism food chain going to be held accountable for the way they have destroyed the industry???? Gary Pruit, are you listening??? They won't be happy until they wring the last dollar out of the last newspaper. It's the darkest days of our profession, and it hasn't nothing to do with a shift to online. It has everything to do with the greedy opportunists running things. Next time you hear layoffs, just remember somebody's still making a buck and it ain't you. GROW A PAIR OF BALLS EVERYBODY. JOIN A UNION AND STRIKE THESE BASTARDS.

  9. More evidence of how out of touch the corporate types are with normal people. Not just in Gannett but across the board. It's disgusting.

    Unless of course they can show that their "brilliant" management kept the share price and bottom line from tumbling even further.

  10. 9:09 Posting: "GROW A PAIR OF BALLS EVERYBODY. JOIN A UNION AND STRIKE THESE BASTARDS." has an excellent point.

    According to an earlier post the only segment of Gannett employment that has stayed reasonably stable is the union side. Maybe they're afraid to tackle an organized work force.

  11. a company-wide strike isn't realistic, but a week in which nobody worked any unpaid overtime might get their attention. first week of april????

    as for "merit" evaluations? a 5 on a rating? don't be silly. our best people are lucky to get 4s in all but a couple of categories, and 3s in the others. then the bastards round down to a 3 and pay accordingly. rumor is that our publisher never got a 5 so no one else gets one.

    i'm supposedly a top performer. in a good year, i get a 1% bonus (which doesn't cover the increase in insurance premiums on a single person). in a great year, i get a 1% raise. i've had one great year in the last 5. it wasn't the year in which i won two statewide awards.

    nobody goes into journalism expecting to get rich (except maybe the dubow types, who i'm sure don't consider themselves rich), but my paper has lost people to charity, school and government jobs -- in large part because the pay is better, the hours are much better and the stress levels are much lower. when it's less stressful to teach in a big-city public school than to be a reporter, something's wrong.

  12. Time for realism: No one is going to start a union; no one is going to do anything. Most journalists talk tough, then do nothing other than hide under their desks. (Case in point: Look at how many anonymous posts are here.)

    Nothing will change, other than the higher-ups will keep getting these types of raises.

  13. Gawd, glad I don't work for that turd!

  14. This is something that needs to be e-mailed, tongue-wagged about and remembered every time the Gannett lackeys start whining about our need to do more with less.
    This is so blatantly wrong and demoralizing that I can do nothing but sigh and plot my exit from this evil corporation.
    The leadership of this company is as arrogant and hypocritical as Spitzer - saying one thing and then doing another.
    Work slowdowns, sabotage of projects, leaking our scoops to competing media, doing anything and everything we can to work from within to destroy this company unless and until it holds the editorial robber barons to the same pay raises as everyone else seems mighty tempting, doesn't it?

  15. Be happy in your work. Buy the stock in your securities account, and wait for the company to be sold off in pieces. Just wait...with the dummies running the administration and is likely that the Chinese or our European brothers will buy Gannett. Pruit and others are too busy bailing their own lifeboats.

  16. Hey rknil -- Time for realism? Bullshit. It's your kind of ho-hum attitute that lets these creeps get away with this stuff. They'll keep cutting your salary and keep giving it to themselves unless you fight 'em. Christ - evaluations? Do you people honestly think they're designed to do anything but keep your salary supressed? Wake up, people.

  17. The fact that yet another anonymous poster is saying to "fight 'em," knowing that no one will do anything, is laughable.

    Most journalists would have to come out from underneath their desks even to know this salary increase happened. They'll never have the guts or the spine to do anything about it.

  18. Kiss my anonymous ass, rhnil. What do you do for a living? Rob poor boxes?

  19. Anonymous no more. United we bargain. Divided we beg.

  20. Hey, I can make a good five or six bucks from those poor boxes on a good day!

    Finally, someone posts by name. So, will there now be a real effort forthcoming?

  21. A bonus larger than one's base salary cannot POSSIBLY be considered a bonus.

  22. Rewarding AND accepting that kind of bonus, regardless of the board's reasoning, in a recession and as newspapers continue to dive-dive-dive, is simply obscene.

    Although I did not have the good sense last year to dump my modest accumulation of a couple of hundred shares of Gannett stock over the more than two decades that I worked in Gannett newsrooms, I DID have the good sense to take a buyout last year when it was offered.
    Every day is another validation that I did the right thing. I am not looking back, except in sadness, pity and disgust. I wish well to all of you who remain ... but I know the hard times will only continue.

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

  24. Rewarding AND accepting that kind of bonus, regardless of the board's reasoning, in a recession and as newspapers continue to dive-dive-dive, is simply obscene.

    Yes, it is, but just realize we are talking about people that are just like our politicians - liars all around, no amount of spine, cowards of the first class that will turn and run, but not without a big fat bonus. Does anybody even think anything changes? This is how the buck rolls and it will never be different. I still hold my Annual Report in hand, received at headquarters. Any mention of this outrageous payscale in there - no! I read about it in this blog. It makes me mad that I have to go to the Internet to get important info, which my employer should have supplied in the first place.

    But maybe that is the cut-back contribution of the Executive Office to save Gannett some money. Two pages less paper should do the trick to get our stock price back up. LOL!

    Looking at the whole picture of non-performance: No original USAT slogan, stock price in the dumbs, no ideas from the newly staffed DIG office (other than the photos of employees holding DIG mugs(geeeez, this name really rubs me or maybe they now took over the supply chain of Sodexho)
    and the advertising department with their heads in the clouds.......

    I will post my resume today and hope to get the hell out of Dodge.

    Integrity - it surely is not one of Gannett's mottos.


  26. When I consider all of the hours I put in to make my dept achive budget and then look at my 2007 year end bonus that was reduced after a good year due to the "we received less bonus money for the group pool this year" excuse I can see why epople crap in Cheery Hills

  27. So let me get this straight: We all have to take an unpaid week off, and somehow there's money laying around for millions in bonuses? I AM APPALLED!!!!

  28. "We all have to take an unpaid week off, and somehow there's money laying around for millions in bonuses? "

    Yeah, kinda makes you all wanna take the same unpaid week off now, doesn't it?

    Screw a strike, you won't have the time to organize. Just use the furlough to your own advantage. Take it on the last possible week that it's mandated.

    Screw the corporate schmucks. Turn their own game against them.


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