Discovery Boss Gets Big Contract Extension, Could Make $100 Million This Year

Jan 6, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Discovery Communications Inc. has beefed up its employment agreement with Chief Executive David Zaslav, adding six years to his contract and giving Zaslav one of the most lucrative deals in media, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The extension comes after a period of sustained growth for the company, the report notes.

"The deal announced Friday modifies how Zaslav’s annual compensation is calculated to provide him with substantial stock holdings in the company. He will receive a base salary and bonus targets of about $10 million a year in the early years of the agreement," the story reports.

"Zaslav, who joined Discovery in January 2007, will continue to collect one of the most lucrative executive compensation packages in corporate America," the piece notes. "In 2012, he received compensation valued at nearly $50 million. The prior year, he garnered $52.4 million in cash, stock awards and other compensation.

"With the allocation of more than 1 million restricted stock units this year, Zaslav’s 2014 compensation could exceed $100 million, based on the current value of Discovery shares."

In a statement announcing the new pact, John Malone, chairman of Liberty Media Corp. and a Discovery board member, said: "David has done a superb job. He built a strong management team that has expanded the company’s reach and relevance, increased its market share domestically and around the world, and created a bigger, stronger portfolio of brands."

A regulatory document was filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing the agreement.

The report adds: "The actual amount paid to Zaslav will be tied to several company performance objectives, ‘which will be determined each year by the compensation committee of the board … in consultation with Mr. Zaslav,’ the regulatory document said. His contract, which took effect Thursday, expires Dec. 31, 2019.

"Zaslav, who turns 54 this month, will be entitled to generous stock awards, which are designed to make him a significant shareholder in the company."

david zaslav.pngDavid Zaslav

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