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Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes' pay shrinks 1% to $25.9 million

April 2, 2012 |  1:57 pm

Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes took a pay cut in 2011 — albeit a mere 1%.

The head of the media conglomerate that owns Warner Bros., HBO, TNT and Time magazine saw his compensation shrink from $26.3 million in 2010 to $25.9 million last year because the company "did not surpass [its] financial targets by as great an amount as it did in 2010," according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As a result, Bewkes' bonus shrank to $13.5 million from $14.4 million in 2010. His salary remained constant at $2 million and the value of stock and options awarded to him was up slightly at $10.1 million.

Time Warner said in its filing that Bewkes' compensation was below that of his peers at other media conglomerates, an observation borne out by figures publicly released thus far. Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger, for example, took home $31.4 million in 2011; Viacom Inc.'s Philippe Dauman received $43 million; and Discovery Communications chief David Zaslav received $52.4 million.

However, Time Warner did note in the filing that compared with a "broad industry peer group" that also includes non-entertainment companies such as Apple Inc., McDonald's Corp. and Procter & Gamble Co., Bewkes' compensation sat between the 75th and 90th percentiles.

Bewkes was the only one of Time Warner's top executives to take a pay cut. Chief Financial and Administrative Officer John K. Martin's compensation grew 13% to $11.5 million; general counsel Paul Cappuccio got a nearly 20% raise to $7.4 million; and Executive Vice President of Corporate Marketing and Communications Gary Ginsberg received a 6% bump to $3.8 million.

The compensation committee of Time Warner's board of directors justified the increases based on a strong financial performance in 2011 that saw the company's revenue grow 8% to $29 billion and operating income grow 7% to $5.8 billion. It also noted successes in strategic initiatives such as investing in programming, growing internationally and launching digital businesses such as TV Everywhere and HBO Go for television and UltraViolet for movies.

During 2011, Time Warner stock rose nearly 16% to $35.89.


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— Ben Fritz

Photo: Jeff Bewkes at the Economic Club in Washington, D.C., on March 14. Credit: Chris Kleponis / Bloomberg.