Blog Post

Exec Salaries: Carey’s Compensation Could Reach $43M; Karmazin Gets New, Richer Contract

At some media companies, it is business as usual when it comes to exec salaries:

— At News Corp (NYSE: NWS). newly appointed COO and president Chase Carey could earn as much as $43.1 million in his first year, in salary and bonuses, according to an SEC filing today, picked up by WSJ. Carey rejoined News Corp, officially starting today. His five year contract includes a base annual salary of $8.1 million and a $10 million signing bonus. Besides cash, he is also eligible for an annual bonus and restricted stock units ranging from zero to $25 million, depending on News Corp.’s profits. He will also be eligible for other grants of stock, stock options and other equity. This is a huge jump for Carey, from his previous position as CEO of DirecTV (NYSE: DTV), where his base salary was $2.3 million, and he earned a bonus last year of $3.5 million, according to LAT. Also, if he’s fired in the next 12 months, he will get a severance amount of $10 million.

This is roughly equivalent to what Carey’s predecessor in the position Peter Chernin got. Chernin officially vacated his position yesterday, but will still be involved with News Corp via his first-look deal for his new move and TV production company. Besides some more payments on his stock in news Corp, Chernin will also have the right to the “use of a corporate jet, a corporate car, screening room and personal secretarial services,” a separate SEC filing disclosed today.

— Meanwhile, at XM Sirius (NSDQ: SIRI), CEO Mel Karmazin’s employment contract, set to expire in November this year, has now been extended until Dec. 31, 2012. The company has also increased his salary from a base of $1.25 million to $1.5 million annually going ahead. He also has an option to purchase 120 million shares at an exercise price of 43 cents a share, the closing price for the company’s shares Tuesday. This comes as the company is still unprofitable, but Karmazin helped see the merger of XM and Sirius, and also managed to rescue the company from a potential bankruptcy when Liberty Media (NSDQ: LINTA) struck a deal to invest $530 million in the company. More in the SEC filing here.