Randy Turner looks at GateHouse Media’s latest filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and discovers that Kirk Davis, the just-promoted president and chief operating officer, will be extremely well paid.
According to a Form 8-K filed with the SEC last week, Davis is now earning “a base salary of $461,260.80.” He’s eligible for performance bonuses as well, which sounds a little like a baseball team that signs a free agent for $12 million and then includes an incentive clause for making the All-Star team. Why? Shouldn’t the All-Star team be a given for that kind of money? [Note: I should make it clear that I don’t know what Davis was making as head of GateHouse Media New England. It’s possible that this isn’t actually a raise.]
Turner writes that Davis is making more than double what his predecessor earned as GateHouse’s number-two executive, although considerably less than what’s paid to GateHouse chief executive Mike Reed — $925,000 in 2007 and $6.4 million the year before.
Turner, a journalist-turned-schoolteacher, is witheringly sarcastic in observing that the financially ailing GateHouse is paying its top executives so well at a time when it has eliminated contributions to its employees’ 401(k) plans.
I think Davis is fundamentally a good guy, and that GateHouse can only benefit from having him run its day-to-day operations. But this is terrible symbolism.