Friday, April 12, 2019

If you've ever wanted to see a radio exec's contract, here's your chance

Just ahead of Record Store Day, I was passing some record stores in Normal, Illinois (the current location of the INBA convention), and was thinking about when radio stations used to play vinyl, and club DJs spun only vinyl as well. Which prompted me to write about some sleuthing I've been doing about the Radio Biz.

dj spins vinyl records
21st-century DJ spinning vinyl at a crazy party I went to near Chinatown, which I will go to again, but can't say anything online about it until after the fact.

Have you ever worked at a radio/media company, where the local official refers to "Corporate," as in, "We need to check with Corporate about that," or "Corporate says..." or "Corporate has decided to..." etc., and you wonder just who "Corporate" is? Well, sometimes the highest levels of Corporate like to reward themselves, but the details of their self-celebratory practices are murky and swirling in rumors rather than fact.

But thanks to the U.S. government, Corporate's activities are documented, making it easy to find out just how much they approve of themselves and some others, such as the ones who sit on their boards and get a big enough chunk of change to equal more than what most part-time or per-diem contractors make in probably a decade.

For instance, the Entercom boss makes a base salary of over a million dollars (which seems like a pittance compared to the Tribune boss, who "is entitled to a monthly payment of $200,000" and can get "an annual bonus up to $6,000,000"), and folks on the Entercom board make $80,000 in addition to stock configurations (though not as robust as the boss and sub-bosses).

But some folks say they deserve it, because executives and board members of companies that have "hit a five-year low" and "saw its stock fall by 30 percent" should get paid well, right?

You might be thinking, "These are all numbers...what does an actual 'Employment Agreement' look like, such as one that promises 'an annualized salary of $450,000' and a 'three percent' raise each year, in addition to incentives?" Well here one is, in the SEC archives. It's between Andrew Sutor, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, and "Entercom Communications Corp."

Now you're probably thinking, "I don't work for Entercom, who cares what this guy makes." In that case, you can go to the Securities and Exchange Commission's website and do a search for any company you want. You'll see a bunch of filings, but don't be intimidated. Find the corporation's "DEF 14A" form, which is a proxy statement, and find out how much your "Corporate" bosses make, and what's in store for them if they convince the board that they're performing admirably. I've already done a search of various companies, and it's easy. No need to wait for articles to come out...you can do it yourself...have fun!

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If you've ever wanted to see a radio exec's contract, here's your chance

Just ahead of Record Store Day, I was passing some record stores in Normal, Illinois (the current location of the INBA convention ), and wa...