AMC Networks shares lost 29.9% of their value last year — but due to a quirk in the way it had to report compensation you wouldn’t know that from the package for CEO Josh Sapan. The proxy statement it just filed at the SEC shows him with $30.5 million, up 72.4%.
Much of the increase is due to a shift in AMC’s pay strategy to offer performance stock units as opposed to cash. That boosted the tally because the SEC requires companies to report the cash awards in the year that they’re earned while grants have to be listed in the year they’re made.
As a result, the 2016 proxy “includes both the cash-based long-term performance awards granted in 2014 and earned for the period of 2014-2016, and the PSU awards granted for 2016 (with payment based upon the performance period 2016-2018),” the company says.
Sapan’s total includes $2 million salary, $13.2 million in stock awards, $15.1 million in non equity incentives, and $173,862 for other compensation.
The board says that in 2016 AMC “continued to perform well and we remain well positioned to capitalize on future opportunities.” To determine executives’ incentive compensation it “considered the strong growth the Company achieved in 2016, particularly in light of the challenging environment for the media industry.”
The annual meeting will take place on June 6 in New York. It will probably be uneventful: Charles and James Dolan’s families control 67.8% of the voting shares.