Let the Mad Men jokes begin. First, though, a little context: CEO Josh Sapan’s total includes a special “retention award” from a new contract he signed last year giving him stock units valued at $25 million that vest at the end of 2020 — providing he’s still at AMC Networks. According to the proxy just filed at the SEC, the board’s compensation committee concluded that due to his “success and his standing within the industry” Sapan would be “an attractive candidate to other media companies.” And if he left, “the cost to recruit someone of equal stature and experience would be very costly and could create instability and risk to the Company.”
The 2014 package includes: $2 million in salary, $29.8 million in stock awards, $8.4 million in non-equity incentives, and $141,604 in other compensation.
AMC’s stock price fell 4.8% in 2014, but it has appreciated more than 69% since mid 2012. Last year AMC acquired Chellomedia and forged a joint venture agreement with BBC Worldwide Americas.
The shareholder meeting, which will take place in New York on June 9, should be a quiet affair. The Dolan family, which runs Cablevision, controls 65.8% of AMC’s voting shares.
AMC’s compensation committee is chaired by New Century Holdings CEO Leonard Tow, who’s also on the Cablevision board, and includes Dish Network senior advisor Carl Vogel.