Comcast’s Roberts, Burke Take Big Pay Cuts

Two top Comcast executives — chairman
and CEO Brian Roberts and executive vice president and
NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke — took big cuts in their
overall compensation in 2011, despite
coming off a strong year operationally.

Roberts received $26.9 million in total
compensation in 2011, a 13.3% decline
from the $31.1 million he reaped
in the prior year. Burke took an even
bigger haircut, with his total compensation
dipping more than 33% to $23.7
million for the year, down from the
$34.7 he received in 2010, according
to according to Comcast’s proxy statement
filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on April 20.

Comcast’s top executives agreed in 2009 to freeze their
base pay through 2013.

Roberts and Burke finished about in the middle the top
media executive pay scale, led by CBS CEO Les Moonves
($69.9 million in total compensation in 2011) and Discovery’s
David Zaslav ($52.4
million).Viacom CEO
Phi lippe Dauman
received about $43
million in total compensation
in 2011, Cablevision
CEO James
Dolan received about
$11.4 million and
Time Warner Cable
chairman and CEO
Glenn Britt received
$16.4 million.

The declines are a bit surprising, given Comcast’s strong
2011 financial performance. The top U.S. cable operator reduced
basic-subscriber losses by about 40% in 2011 and reported
strong revenue and cash-flow growth; its stock price
rose almost 8%.

While there were few changes to both executives’ base salary,
stock awards and non-qualifi ed deferred compensation,
both saw big declines in non-equity incentive plan compensation.
Roberts received $5.5 million in non-equity incentive
plan comp for 2011, about half the $10.9 million he garnered
in 2010. Burke’s non-equity incentive plan comp fell to $4.4
million in 2011, compared to $10.1 million in the prior year.

Other executives saw less dramatic reductions. Vice chairman
and chief financial officer Michael Angelakis received
$21.9 million in total compensation, a 4.4% decrease from
the $22.9 million he received in 2010.

Cable division CEO Neil Smit received $18.5 million in total
compensation in 2011. Comcast was not required to release
his 2010 pay. Executive vice president David Cohen
received $15.1 million in total compensation in 2011, a 15.9%
increase over the $12.7 million he received in 2010.