Gannett Execs Best-Paid Newspaper Execs in 2004

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By: Jennifer Saba

Executives at Gannett reaped the most compensation among newspaper execs in 2004, according to a report released by Banc of America Securities today.

The firm measured the proxy statements of 10 publishing companies — including McGraw-Hill, which ranked the highest — and found that compensation is most closely tied to market capitalization.

The top five executives at Gannett earned $7.8 million in short-term compensation (which includes salary and bonuses) and $1.8 million in long-term compensation. The New York Times Co. followed with $7.2 million in short-term compensation and $1.9 million in long-term compensation.

Tribune and Lee had the lowest. Tribune executives received $3.7 million in short-term compensation and $306,714 in long-term compensation. Lee executives received $3.6 million in short-term compensation and $511,800 in long-term compensation.

On average, publishing executives earned $5.5 million in cash and bonuses for 2004, compared with $5.2 million in 2003.

Gannett also paid its CEO the most. Douglas McCorkindale made $4.1 million compared to an average of $2.1 million. At the bottom of the list was Tribune’s CEO Dennis FitzSimons who earned $1.1 million.

The median CEO compensation for the group was $1.8 million compared to $2.5 million for CEOs at 350 U.S. corporations surveyed by The Wall Street Journal and Mercer Human Resources Consulting.

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