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Gray Executive Pay Jumps After Raycom Acquisition

Executive compensation rose at Gray Television, which acquired Raycom last year.

CEO Hilton Howell Jr.’s total compensation was $8.89 million in 2019, up 57% from the prior year, according to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Howell’s base salary was up 6% to $1,18 million. Several Gray executives including Howell got one-time stock awards. Howell’s total stock award was $5.2 million. He also received $2.3 million non-equity incentive plan compensation.

Former Raycom CEO Pat LaPlatney, who became president and co-executive officer of Gray, received $3.8 million.

CFO James Ryan’s compensation rose 67% to $4.5 million, Kevin Latek, the company’s chief legal and development officer’s compensation rose 62% to $4.6 million, and Robert Smith, executive VP, chief operating officer, local media’s pay increased 73% to $3.4 million.

The proxy statement noted that Gray’s annual meeting, scheduled for May 6 in Atlanta, could be impacted by the Coronavirus crisis.

“We intend to hold our annual meeting in person,” the company said. “However, as part of our precautions regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, to the extent permitted by Georgia law, we are planning for the possibility that the meeting may be held solely by means of remote communications. If we take this step, we will announce the decision to do so in advance, and details on how to participate will be posted on our website and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”