New York Times CEO Earns $2.1M in 2007

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New York Times Co. President and Chief Executive Janet Robinson received total compensation valued at $2.1 million in 2007 but got no stock options, reducing her pay 38 percent from a year ago, according to calculations by The Associated Press.

Robinson’s compensation consisted of a $1 million base salary, which was equal to her 2006 salary, a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission showed. She received $1.1 million in nonstock incentive bonuses, which represented 110 percent of her salary. She was eligible to receive up to twice her salary if certain targets were met.

She also took home $30,187 in perquisites, including $12,067 in tax payments and $2,520 in life insurance premiums.

In 2006, Robinson received $3.5 million in pay, including $1.6 million in stock options. She did not receive any options in 2007 because the publisher of The New York Times newspaper changed the timing of its awards to February following the year for which they are intended as compensation.

That policy took effect last month, and the company said it gave Robinson 650,000 options as compensation for 2007. She also received 65,000 shares of preferred stock. The Times did not disclose the fair market value of those awards in its filing. That compensation will be included in the executive’s 2008 totals.

As previously disclosed, Chairman Arthur Sulzberger, whose family controls the publishing company, asked not to receive any options for 2007. The move comes amid the ‘challenging period of transition that we and our industry are in and to demonstrate the commitment of the Ochs/Sulzberger family to the company,’ the company said in its filing.

Newspapers across the country have seen revenue decline steadily in recent years as advertisers shift spending to the Internet, where most readers go for their news. In 2007, the Times reported a 2.9 percent decline in revenue to $3.2 billion. The company’s shares fell 28 percent last year.

That prompted investors to call on the company to shed assets outside of its core newspaper and invest aggressively in building up its online businesses.

Last week, the company averted a proxy battle with its largest outside shareholder, Harbinger Capital, which owns 19 percent of the stock. Harbinger had threatened to nominate a slate of four directors to the Times board before the company agreed to expand the oversight committee to include two of the Harbinger nominees.

The Sulzberger family controls the company through preferred shares and can appoint 70 percent of the board.

In addition to its flagship newspaper, the Times company also owns The Boston Globe, a stake in the Boston Red Sox, its headquarters building in Manhattan, a group of smaller newspapers and the International Herald Tribune. It also owns About.com, an online consumer information business.

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.

The calculations don’t include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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