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Compensation Rises for News Corp.’s Murdoch, Chernin

Aug 24, 2005  •  Post A Comment

News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch saw his total compensation surge more than 37 percent in the 2005 fiscal year, while the compensation of his No. 2, President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin, soared more than 64 percent, according to a filing submitted Wednesday to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For the 12-month period ended June 30, Mr. Murdoch’s total remuneration package clocked in at $23.64 million, compared with a year-earlier figure of $17.23 million, lifted by a sharp increase in his annual cash bonus to nearly $18.9 million, from a year-earlier figure of $12.5 million. His base salary was largely flat at $4.51 million.

Meanwhile, Mr. Chernin’s remuneration hit $27.75 million for fiscal 2005, compared with a year-earlier figure of $16.83 million. The increase was driven by a higher annual cash bonus of $18.9 million, versus $8 million a year ago. His base salary rose slightly, to more than $8.3 million from just under $8.3 million last year. Mr. Chernin in July 2004 signed a five-year employment contract that featured a sweetened compensation package at a time when speculation was rampant that he might be in line to be named CEO of The Walt Disney Co.

Mr. Murdoch’s eldest son, Lachlan, also saw his take-home pay increase. Lachlan Murdoch was deputy COO of News Corp. during the period. According to the SEC filing, his compensation grew to $7.78 million from a year-earlier figure of $3.81 million, thanks to increases in his base salary and his annual cash bonus. The base salary rose to $2 million from a year-earlier $1.8 million, while the cash bonus climbed to $5.8 million from $2 million a year ago.

Lachlan Murdoch announced his resignation in July as an executive, though he said he would remain on the board.