Media General CEO Earned $2.4 Million in 2006, Proxy Says

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The chief executive officer of Media General Inc. received executive compensation valued at $2.4 million during 2006, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.

Marshall N. Morton, who is also president of the company that publishes newspapers and runs TV stations in the South, received a base salary of $785,000.

The bulk of Morton’s compensation, however, came from the value of stock and option awards. The awards, granted Jan. 26, 2006, had a total value that day of $847,783, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

He also received $475,592 in non-equity incentive plan compensation and $319,541 in all other compensation, which includes personal use of a company car, certain club memberships, home security services and values of tickets and refreshments related to company-leased stadium boxes.

The Associated Press calculations of total pay include executives’ salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. They may vary from totals the company reports.

In July 2005, Morton, 61, assumed CEO responsibilities from J. Stewart Bryan III. Morton served as chief financial officer from 1989 until July 2005, as senior vice president from 1989 to 2001 and vice chairman from 2001 to July 2005.

Bryan, 68, who serves as chairman, received executive compensation valued at $2.1 million in 2006, according to the filing.

Media General publishes the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Tampa Tribune and Winston-Salem Journal. It also owns 22 daily community newspapers in the Southeast, more than 150 weekly newspapers and other publications and 23 network-affiliated stations.

For 2006, the company reported net income of $79 million, or $3.32 a share, compared to a loss of $243 million, or $10.18 a share, in 2005. Sales rose to $983.2 million from $876.4 million in 2005.

Media General shares fell 87 cents to $39.58 in afternoon trading Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares have traded between $33.80 and $51.54 over the past year.

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