Should Gannett CEO Dubow have been rewarded for company's decline?

Words & Ideas | paidContent

Peter Lewis, who once was an employee at The Des Moines Register before Gannett bought it, writes that the compensation of departing CEO Craig Dubow is ironic —  he stands to collect $37.1 million in retirement and disability and his 2010 pay package was $7.9 million — considering how much the company has shrunk and lost value during his tenure. The company employed 52,000 people when Dubow became CEO; now it's 32,000. Gannett's stock traded at about $72 per share then; now it's around $10. "Can anyone argue that Gannett newspapers and journalism are better today, and that news consumers are better served? ... As revenue fell, and stock prices tanked, and product quality deteriorated, they rewarded themselves huge pay raises and bonuses." Those figures are especially revealing, he says, when compared to similar figures for Apple under Steve Jobs. PaidContent's David Kaplan writes that comparing a legacy media company to a tech company is a bit of an "apples-to-oranges comparison, pardon the pun. ... But in a larger sense, placing Jobs and Dubow side-by-side clearly shows the opportunities on the tech side of the media divide and the misery on the content creation side." || Related: In addition to the $37.1 million, Dubow gets an office, secretary, free tech support, life and medical insurance, access to Gannett's plane and more. He has to pay by the hour for the plane. (Footnoted) || Earlier: What’s next for Gannett after CEO resigns, MomsLikeMe shuttered on same day (Poynter.org)

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.

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