Wednesday, September 7, 2011

For any who have forgotten the recent past

This was reported five months ago:
Providence Journal parent A.H. Belo awarded its top five executives nearly $1.6 million in cash bonuses last year, the company disclosed Monday in an SEC filing.
A.H. Belo CEO Robert Decherd’s total compensation more than tripled to $1.87 million in 2010, up from $499,180 in 2009, according to calculations based on the SEC filing.
Decherd’s 2010 pay package included a $480,000 salary; a $408,000 cash bonus; $949,998 worth of stock awards; and $29,872 in “other compensation.” The latter category included $8,760 for life insurance, $3,150 in tax gross-ups to make up for the cost of taxes on other benefits, and a $420 cell phone allowance.
Among the other four top executives, Dallas Morning News Publisher James Moroney earned $1.3 million in 2010, up from $478,090 in 2009; Morning News President and General Manager John McKeon earned $1.3 million in his first year on the job; Chief Financial Officer Alison Engel earned $800,001, up from $276,765; and Senior Vice President Daniel Blizzard earned $575,000, up from $211,228.
The largest cash bonus went to McKeon, who received $584,960, most of it as a retention bonus. Moroney got $327,250 in cash, Engel got $150,000 and Blizzard got $100,000. Dallas-based A.H. Belo owns the Projo, The Morning News and The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, Calif.

My favorite is Decherd's cellphone allowance. 


  1. I feel inclined to point out:

    If you assume the laid-off employees' average salary to be $60,000, and benefits to run another $10,000, that cool $1.6 million in bonuses is worth more than 22 jobs.

    And sure, that only covers a year's worth of salary and benefits, but we can revisit this after next year's bonuses.

    Hey Jim, et al.: We're glad you're doing so well. We're happy to hear you can pay your growing property-tax bills. Don't worry about us, though; our rents will surely drop to make up for inflation's toll on our stagnant pay — those of us who still have paychecks, of course.

  2. Don't forget this: one of those executives also received relocation assistance.

  3. This is the red flag that speaks of the Dallas Morning News' imminent demise. What executive takes this sort of money knowing that their company is in trouble?

  4. I realize I've opened a can of stink here. Please keep your comments more civil than they may deserve. Facts and a pointed comment are good. Just venting an attack is more than I want to allow.

  5. Any details on how the numbers were calculated and who approved them?

  6. If I remember correctly, DMN employees received 2 percent bonuses (roughly one week's paycheck) at the end of 2010.

    Now it seems there are rumors that our salaries may be reduced. Should that come to pass, would it be reasonable to expect the DMN's publisher, Mr. Moroney, to also see his compensation reduced -- say, $327,000 for every week's paycheck the rank and file are expected to give up?

  7. Here's an example of leadership in this area:

    FRESNO - Fresno County School Superintendent Larry Powell is voluntarily giving up nearly $1 million in salary over the next three years to help his district cope with budget cuts.

    Until his term expires in 2015, Powell will earn less than a starting California teacher.

    "How much do we need to keep accumulating?" asks Powell, 63. "There's no reason for me to keep stockpiling money."

  8. OMG -- catering to the fourth floor today!?!! Really? Could there be a more bourgeois attitude?

  9. Let them eat cake.

  10. In an enlightened world, before layoffs began the top executives would "fall on the sword" first, because layoffs indicate a supreme failure of leadership and management. Layoffs mean that goals/objectives/targets and the overall business plan was flawed and didn't consider normal risks... and to compensate, LOP! The leaders who implemented this plan failed, and they are the ones who should be canned. In a war, the generals don't die, but the soldiers always do.

    Clearly, it is not an enlightened world.

    Best wishes to all on finding a job from a former TDMNr, 86-00.

  11. Take matters into your own hands and leave. Stop thinking that things will change. Someone moved your cheese and its not coming back. The sooner you get started on your new journey the sooner you will find a new adventure. Everyone should ask themselves, what are you waiting for?

  12. I've already been in your shoes. Walk out into the sunlight. Do not allow the "powers that be" to continue to make money off of YOUR back. Fight. Strike. Shut the doors down. And stop publishing Annonymously. Step into the light and say your peace. Men such as Moroney and Decherd will only fall when ALL stop allowing them to profit on your misfortune. Stand strong. Hugs to all from an 11 year DMN vet, Deborah Voorhees. Need to chat? 214.982.1787.