EXCLUSIVE: David Young, the longtime executive director of the WGA West, received a hefty one-time bonus last year that raised his total annual compensation to $1.1 million, according to financial statements filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.
Young has been the guild’s top executive since 2006, and as Deadline first reported his contract was recently extended for another four years, with an option of two more years after that.
“The amount of David Young’s compensation reported in the LM-2 represents a raise in his annual salary plus a significant one-time bonus, reflecting David’s 12 years of outstanding service as our executive director,” said WGA West president David A. Goodman in a statement to Deadline.
WGA West Earnings Hit Record $1.4 Billion In 2017
The guild would not say, and the financial report does not indicate, how much of that $1.1 million was bonus and how much was his annual pay. In the prior reporting period ending March 31, 2017, Young received a salary of $573,032.
The financial statements show that several other top executives at the guild also received hefty pay raises last year. Assistant executive director Charles Slocum, the guild’s next highest-paid staffer, got a $58,052 pay raise, boosting his salary by 20.9% to $335,927. Assistant executive director Lise Anderson got a $59,143 pay raise, increasing her salary by 25.8% to $288,566. Assistant executive director Rebecca Kessinger got a $53,788 pay raise to boost her salary by 23.9% to $278,744, and chief financial officer Don Gor saw his salary rise $28,989 for a 12.1% increase to $268,266.
The guild’s membership, meanwhile, received a 3% pay raise last year, earning a record $1.4 billion under guild contracts, according to the guild’s latest annual report.
Minus his one-time bonus, Young may still be only the third highest-paid labor leader in Hollywood. Before his retirement last year, DGA national executive director Jay Roth had been Hollywood’s highest paid, earning $813,638 during the reporting period ending December 31, 2017. During that same time frame, Russ Hollander, the DGA’s new national executive director, was paid $599,625.
David White, national executive director of SAG-AFTRA, was paid $662,196 during the reporting period ending April 30, 2017. WGA East executive director Lowell Peterson, whose membership is about half of the WGA West’s 10,215 current members, received a 9.3% pay raise last year – up $32,055 to $375,901 during the reporting period ending March 31, 2018.
By contrast, AMPTP president Carol Lombardini, with whom the guild leaders negotiate collective bargaining contracts, earned more than $1.9 million in 2016, according to financial documents the AMPTP filed with the IRS.
The union leaders’ pay is also dwarfed by the salaries of Hollywood’s top CEOs. As reported here, Viacom’s Philippe Dauman pulled down a cool $93 million in 2017, CBS’ Les Moonves was paid $69.6 million, Disney’s Bob Iger got $43.9 million, Discovery Communications’ David Zaslav earned $37.2 million, Fox’s Rupert Murdoch was paid $34.6 million, Comcast’s Brian Roberts made $33 million, and then-Time Warner boss Jeff Bewkes got $32.6 million.
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