SEC Watch: New Discovery COO Liguori Gets $200,000 Signing Bonus

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Former Fox Entertainment head Peter Liguori will get $1 million a year in base salary, the chance to double that every year as an incentive bonus — and a $200,000 signing bonus for joining Discovery Communications (NSDQ: DISCA) as COO, according to an SEC filing. The signing bonus is payable within 20 days of his Jan. 19, 2010 start date and must be repaid if he leaves within the first year for other than “good reason.” He also can earn another $3 million through non-qualified stock options and performance restricted stock units granted within the first 90 days. Other benefits include:

— $100,000 for expenses within the first 30 days of employment,

— up to $40,000 for travel expenses incurred in 2010, up to $40,000 for travel expenses incurred in 2011 and up to $20,000 for travel expenses incurred in 2012, unless he moves full time to the DC area where Discovery is based.

— a “suitable corporate apartment” in the DC area for the first six months at no more (monthly cost not to exceed $5,000).

Liguori, who was left without a seat in last spring’s game of musical chairs at News Corp. (NYSE: NWS), advised Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) on its deal for NBC Universal (NYSE: GE). He is considered a catch for Discovery, which gets a savvy Hollywood exec just as its OWN joint venture channel with Oprah Winfrey nears launch.

Correction: I misspelled Peter Liguori’s last name and have corrected it.

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