Three months ago I posted the salaries and total compensation packages of the top executives at five troubled newspaper companies, including the New York Times Co., which owns the Boston Globe. Crickets chirped.
Today Christine McConville of the Boston Herald gives us updated Times Co. figures, and it’s the talk of the town — for obvious reasons, given that the Times is demanding a reported $20 million in union givebacks from the Globe as the price of keeping the paper alive.
McConville did some digging. I didn’t know that Globe publisher Steven Ainsley made $1.9 million last year, and the information she’s turned up on options and bonuses is fascinating in a stomach-churning kind of way. You’ve also got to love the nearly $250,000 in moving expenses Ainsley received in 2006.
On WRKO Radio (AM 680) this morning, Tom Finneran and Todd Feinburg were excoriating Times Co. managers for showering themselves with millions while they drove their business into the ground. Media Nation readers know that isn’t right — the entire news industry is falling apart for reasons that go far beyond the ability of the affected companies to turn things around.
But there is a deeper truth, and it isn’t pretty. For years, executives of news organizations — and corporations in general — paid themselves ridiculous amounts of money and argued that it was their expertise that led their companies to be so profitable.
Now we know they were essentially taking credit for the sunrise and paying themselves for it. The fraud has been exposed for all to see.