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A Robust Raise for Rocco

Mediacom Communications Corp. chairman Rocco Commisso, traditionally one of the lowest-paid CEOs in the cable industry, said last month that he was getting a raise, and according to the Middletown, N.Y.-based MSO’s proxy statement filed April 29, it was a big one.

According to the proxy, Commisso’s salary rose from $100,000 in 2002 to $800,000 in 2003, a 700% increase. Commisso also received a $600,000 bonus in 2003, his first bonus since 2001, when he received $395,000.

Commisso’s salary has been stuck at $100,000 annually since Mediacom went public in 2000, far below other cable CEOs. For example, Insight Communications Co. Inc. CEO Michael Willner earned $852,900 in salary and bonus in 2003, running an operation with 1.4 million subscribers, 200,000 fewer customers than Mediacom.

According to the proxy, Mediacom’s compensation committee took a look at Commisso’s salary last year and concluded that it was significantly below that of CEOs of comparative companies.

As a result, the committee determined to target Commisso’s pay “at the 75th percentile of competitive market levels, as warranted by annual performance,” the proxy statement said.