Stock Awards Fuel Cablevision Exec Comp Gains

In perhaps their last public disclosure of compensation figures before its pending sale to Altice NV closes, several Cablevision Systems executives netted double-digitt increases in compensation in 2015, fueled mainly by beefier stock awards, while CEO James Dolan netted a more modest increase.

Cablevision filed an amended 10-K annual report on Friday instead of a proxy statement because it said it does not plan to hold an annual shareholders meeting because of the pending Altice deal. Cablevision stopped holding quarterly conference calls to discuss results after it agreed to be purchased by Altice in September in a transaction valued at $17.7 billion. That deal is expected to close in June.

According to the 10-K, Cablevision chairman Charles Dolan received $18.3 million in total compensation in 2015, up 20% from the $15.3 million he received in the prior year. The main difference was a $7.5 milllion stock award, nearly twice the $3.9 million he received in 2014. CEO James Dolan received total compensation of $24.6 million, up 4%.

President and chief financial officer Brian Sweeney received a 37% raise to $9.6 million from $7 million and chief operating officer Kristin Dolan received $9.7 million in total comp for the year, up 31% from the $7.4 million she received in the prior year. Stock awards also appeared to be the catalyst of increases for those exectives -- Sweeney received  $3 million in awards in 2015, nearly twice the $1.6 million in the prior year, while Kristin Dolan received the same amount. 

Vice chairman Gregg Seibert, who stepped down as CFO last year and was named vice chairman of former Cablevision properties AMC Networks and MSG as well, received $9.5 million in total comp, down 47% from the $14 million he netted in 2014.