News Corp. Proxy: Murdoch Gets Bonus Bump In ’08; Moves To Eliminate Staggered Board

Shares of News Corp (NYSE: NWS). have had a rough year, just like most of their peers, but key executives did well. According to its definitive proxy statement filed this evening, bonuses for CEO and Chairman Rupert Murdoch and COO Peter Chernin were both up this year compared to last.

Based on the company’s 25 percent EPS growth, they both received non-equity compensation of $17.5 million, compared to $15.79 million in 2007. The other big winner was Roger Ailes, head of Fox News: His non-equity bonus was $4.5 million, compared to $3 million. And he received stock awards of $9.1 million compared to $1.6 million last year. His base pay remained at $5 million. Because he is solely responsible for that unit, his compensation isn’t determined by group-wide EPS growth, but by the strong growth of Fox News. Ailes also has skin in the game with respect to Fox Business: “In addition, pursuant to the terms of his employment agreement, Mr. Ailes is also entitled to receive awards in the form of shares of our Class A Common Stock upon the launch of the FOX Business Network and when the fair market value of the FOX Business Network equals or exceeds two times its cost as determined pursuant to the terms of Mr. Ailes

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