By: Mark Fitzgerald
Hollinger International CEO Gordon Paris will receive a pay package that could be as much as $4 million annually, the company that owns the Chicago Sun-Times and other papers reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday.
Paris last week was appointed permanently to the post after serving as interim president and CEO since last November. According to the SEC filing, Paris will receive a $2 million base salary, minus his earnings from the investment banking firm Berenson & Co. Paris will get a bonus that could be as much as 50% of the base salary, and a stock grant of 68,494 shares to be awarded in the summer of 2006. Hollinger stock closed at $14.33 Wednesday, giving the grant an indicated value of about $981,000.
Paris headed the Hollinger special committee that concluded former CEO Conrad Black, former Sun-Times Publisher F. David Radler, and other top executives “looted” the company of some $400 million over seven years by improperly pocketing fees and through insider contracts. Hollinger’s 2003 annual report indicated Black was paid a base salary of $462,460, “other payments” of $248,580 and no bonus. He also received 375,000 shares in long-term compensation. The filing reported his earnings in 2002 from his Ravelston holding company amounted to $6,485,439.
Wednesday’s SEC filing also reported Hollinger’s salary pact with Sun-Times Publisher John Cruickshank, who is also chief operating officer of the chain’s Chicago Group newspaper cluster. He will be paid an annual salary of $360,000 and will be eligible for an annual bonus “targeted at 50%” of his base salary, the filing states.