Here’s something you rarely see in Big Media: Dish Network — one of the industry’s most frugal companies when it comes to executive compensation — cut the outlays for most top execs, with CEO Joe Clayton down 90.8% to $907,000. Chairman Charlie Ergen‘s package was up 35.7%, to just $1.3M, the company says in its proxy filed at the SEC. For contrast, this morning Dish’s chief competitor, DirecTV, gave CEO Michael White a 200% raise to $18M. Dish’s packages are relatively simple. Ergen received $900,000 in salary and $400,186 in other compensation. Clayton also had a $900,000 salary, with just $7,000 in other compensation. Ergen’s compensation was 2.8 times the median for Dish’s four other highest paid execs, below the threshold that raises concerns among corporate governance activists. Dish shares appreciated 27.8% last year. The company says that its “overall executive compensation trails that of its competitors in the areas of base pay, severance packages, and short-term incentives.” Still, it provides execs with lots of stock that “may be competitive over time” and ensures that they have “appropriate incentives tied to the value realized by our shareholders” and that “mitigate(s) excessive risk-taking.” Ergen controls about 88% of Dish’s voting shares.
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