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SBJ/June 18 - 24, 2001/Special Report
Guaranteed salaries a good thing for executives, too
Published June 18, 2001
The nation's top executives have this in common with many of the marquee athletes who play for the teams that their companies own: guaranteed salaries.
Even as the stock market swooned at the close of 2000, the top brass at companies that dabble in sports continued to collect gargantuan paychecks, based on SportsBusiness Journal's annual look at executive compensation — which includes everything from salary and stock awards to country club fees and expense accounts (see list).
Ralph J. Roberts, chairman of Comcast Corp., which owns the Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers, saw his compensation package increase from $12.9 million in 1999 to $13.9 million in 2000, even though Comcast's stock ended 2000 at $41, down 19 percent from where it started the year.
L. Lowry Mays, chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Communications, the parent company of SFX Sports, collected $4.1 million in salary and bonuses in a year in which Clear Channel stock fell 45 percent.
AOL Time Warner's duo of Gerald Levin and Ted Turner both got raises, as did the bulk of top executives across the U.S.
Granted, the fates of the Braves, Flyers and SFX Sports have little bearing on the bottom lines of their larger parent companies. But it's still something to think about the next time somebody carps about a slumping center fielder who's making $7 million a year but not putting up the numbers to justify it.