News Corp COO Chase Carey continued the company’s effort to persuade Wall Street that all’s fine with its core media businesses — even as it struggles with multiple investigations into the News of the World scandal. “My role really hasn’t changed,” he said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference. “As time goes on the issues will get better flushed out, particularly some of the issues beyond the UK. … We’re going to cooperate fully and take the appropriate steps.” Carey said he “won’t get into hypotheticals” when asked if there were specific steps the company could take to put the scandal behind it. Nor did he indicate whether the company might split its newspapers from the growing entertainment and cable properties. ”We don’t have a plan to do so,” he said adding that “it’s an historical foundation for the business, but that doesn’t mean you don’t look at it with a fresh eye.”
Echoing the message other media execs delivered today, he says the national ad market “continues to be robust.” Local sales are slowing, but could pick up next year as political ads kick in.
Is it possible that a non-family member may run Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp empire? Bloomberg financial news is reporting that Chase” Carey, who is deputy chairman and president and COO of News Corp, may be elevated to succeed Rupert Murdoch as CEO. But Murdoch would remain chairman. Quoting “people with knowledge of the situation,” Bloomberg says “a decision hasn’t been made”. The pressure seems to be coming from independent directors (who hold 9 of the 16 board seats) frustrated by the lack of quantity and quality of info about the scandal given the board. Also, a Carey promotion “depends in part on Murdoch’s performance before Parliament Tuesday. News Corp executives who watched Murdoch, 80, rehearse for his appearance before Parliament were concerned about how he handled questions, according three people who weren’t authorized to speak publicly,” Bloomberg writes.
EXCLUSIVE: Media Moguls With Out-Of-Whack Pay Compensation
My previous post showed that a lot of media company bigwigs have pay that’s out of whack with the other 4 top executives whom the SEC requires these corps to list. Now I want to show the flip side — CEOs that don’t set off alarm bells with corporate governance experts. Top dogs like News Corp’s Chase Carey, Comcast/NBCUniversal’s Steve Burke, Cinemark’s Alan Stock, World Wrestling Entertainment’s Kevin Dunn, Dreamworks Animation’s Jeffrey Katzenberg, Dish Network’s Charlie Ergen, Netflix’ Reed Hastings, AMC Entertainment’s Gerardo Lopez, Regal Entertainment Group’s, and National Cinemedia’s Kurt Hall make no more than 3 times as much as the average for the 4 other top executives whose compensation is listed in the annual proxy statement to shareholders. Let’s be clear: We aren’t saying that the executives below are fairly or unfairly paid. But they work at companies where the boards of directors at least seem to recognize that multiple people deserve the credit for the company’s performance:
1. Microsoft: B. Kevin Turner. Here’s an indication of how technology companies differ from most media ones: Executives in tech don’t depend so much on annual compensation. They typically own a lot of stock and profit when it appreciates. So CEO Steve Ballmer, who owns nearly 4.8% of Microsoft’s shares, is the lowest paid top executive listed in Microsoft’s proxy, with $1.4 million in compensation for the fiscal year that ended in June. Turner, the COO, … Read More »