Radio & Television News Association

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It's good to be a Tribune executive

from Crain's Business Weekly:

A committee of Tribune Co.’s board approved raises in the 2006 base salaries for top company executives.

Dennis FitzSimons, chairman, president and chief executive officer, will receive a 3.1 percent increase, according to documents filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. On Feb. 14, the company’s compensation and organization committee approved setting FitzSimon’s 2006 base salary at $985,000. His 2005 base salary was $955,000. A Tribune spokesman declined to comment.

Tribune executives have come under fire stemming from a 2004 circulation scandal at its New York Newsday publication to declining revenue at its newspaper and broadcasting business units. Scott Smith, who was promoted to president of Tribune Publishing Co. in January 2005, received a 9.5 percent pay bump. His 2006 salary was set at $575,000, up from $525,000 in 2005.

Donald Grenesko, a senior vice president, will receive $570,000 in 2006 base pay. That’s an 8.5 percent increase from his $527,000 base salary the previous year. John Reardon, president of Tribune Broadcasting Co., did not receive a raise for 2006 since he was promoted in November.

In addition to the increases in base pay, the committee approved bonuses for 2005. FitzSimons will receive a bonus of $250,000, down from $260,000 the previous year. Smith will receive a $154,000 bonus compared to $235,000 in 2004. Grenesko’s 2005 bonus is $102,800 compared to $125,000 the previous year.

Tribune Co. stock closed Tuesday at $30.60 a share. It is down 27 percent since the start of 2005.


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