Who's Watching The Watchdogs? p.11


Linking salary to job performance is not a new workplace concept. Applying that principle to newspaper executive compensation packages is.

By flexing its rights as a shareholder, the Independent Association of Publishers' Employees, a union representing approximately 2,500 Dow Jones employees, hopes to bring accountibility and a touch of reality into the world of Peter Kann, company chairman and chief executive officer, according to IAPE President Ron Chen.

The union, which owns 65 Dow Jones shares worth about $2,150, has submitted a shareholder proposal that would require an annual evaluation of Kann by independent members are defined as those directors who are not present or former employees of Dow Jones, relatives of any such officer or employee, or is an officer, employee or director of any company that has a direct or indirect business relationship with the company.

The proposal also asks that Kann's compensation rest on the evaluation results and that all results be made available to the public.

The proposal, explained Chen, is "designed to put some focus, some public scrutiny on how public executives are handsomely rewarded."

Since taking over Dow Jones in 1991, Kann has seen his total compensation increase by double-digit percentages each year. The CEO's 1995 compensation package, minus stock options, was $1.85 million. Meanwhile, stock share prices (adjusted for splits) have stagnated, recently trading for less than they did 13 years ago.

"The chief executive-CEO pay should not go up more, percentage-wise, than other employees," said Chen, who works as a copy editor at the Wall Street journal. "There is a growing disparity between ordinary workers and those at the top."

While Dow Jones spokesman Roger May was tighted-lipped on the IAPE's proposal, another highly paid executive faced the problem head-on. John Madigan, chairman and CEO of the Tribune Co., announced at the Paine Webber Media Conference that 1997 would christen the company's shareholder value-added program which will drive executive bonus compensation. …


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here