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Pay Drops for Time Warner Execs

A handful of Time Warner Inc. executives, including chairman and CEO Richard Parsons, took slight pay cuts in 2005, primarily because the media giant had a somewhat tougher year financially.

In its annual proxy statement filed April 4 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Time Warner said Parsons in 2005 received $1.5 million in annual salary (the same as the previous year), a $7.5 million bonus ($500,000 less than in 2004) and stock awards and other compensation for a grand total of $16.004 million. That was about 1.4% behind his 2004 total compensation of $16.237 million.

In the proxy, Time Warner said the CEO’s 2005 bonus was lower than what he received the previous two years because even though Time Warner had met or exceeded its financial targets for the year, “the company did not exceed its financial goals by as much as it had in 2004 and 2003.”

According to the proxy, among Time Warner’s accomplishments in 2005 were revenue and cash flow growth of 6% and 8%, respectively, and the generation of about $4.4 billion in free cash flow (cash flow after interest payments and capital expenditures are made). While that exceeded its 2005 guidance of high single-digit cash-flow growth, it lagged behind its 2004 performance that saw revenue and cash flow grow at 6% and 12% clips.

President and chief operating officer Jeff Bewkes also saw his total compensation fall in 2005 to $12.46 million from $12.75 million in 2004. Bewkes received the same annual salary of $1 million, but his bonus dropped to $6 million from $6.5 million.

Former chairman of the Media and Communications Group Don Logan, who retired on Dec. 31, also got a pay cut in 2005, taking in $12.907 million in salary, bonus and other compensation in 2005, down from $12.987 million.

Executive vice president and general counsel Paul Cappuccio’s total compensation dipped to $5.224 million in 2005 from $5.249 million in 2004. A $19,231 salary bump to $1 million from $980,769 in 2004 was offset by an annual bonus to $2.7 million from $2.8 million.

Chief financial officer Wayne Pace was one of the few top Time Warner executives to see a raise in 2005 — to $6.834 million from $6.765 million in 2004. But that was mainly due to a $150,000 increase in other compensation to $373,276 from $218,067 and additional stock awards.