Gray Television Officers Got Large Stock Awards in 2021

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(Image credit: Gray Television)

Top officers at Gray Television received sizable stock awards in connection with the acquisitions of Quincy Media and Meredith Corp.’s local media group, boosting their total compensation. 

CEO Hilton Howell Jr., received $11.5 million in total compensation in 2021, up 77% from 2020’s $6.5 million, according to the company’s proxy statement, released Friday.

Howell received a stock award worth $8.3 million, about the same as his stock awards for the previous two years combined. 

Also: Gray Television Names New GMs For Stations Bought from Meredith

In the filing, the company noted that the Quincy and Meredith transactions make Gray the second-largest television broadcaster in terms of revenue. The awards made to top executives were made “to provide further incentive for the successful consolidation of all of the operations and the integration of the organizations, employees and operations over the four years.“

In June, Gray Television gave raises of up to 4% to nearly all of its employees as the company’s revenues rebounded from the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to the filing, Donald (Pat) LaPlatney’s total compensation for 2021 was $8.7 million, including stock awards of $4 million. Executive VP and CFO James Ryan’s compensation was $6.9 million, with stock awards worth $3.2 million; executive VP, chief legal and development officer and secretary Kevin Latek’s compensation was $7 million with stock awards worth $3.3 million and executive VP chief operating officer, local media Robert Smith’s compensation was $6.2 million, with $2.9 million in stock awards. ■

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.