News Column

Scripps CEO's Pay Increases 47 Percent

April 11, 2013

Scripps Networks Interactive last year rewarded its President, CEO and Chairman Kenneth Lowe with a pay package valued at $14.2 million.

Lowe's total compensation represents a 47 percent raise, up from $9.7 million in 2011, thanks in large part to stock awards worth $7.4 million, up from $2.88 million, according to the company's annual proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lowe benefited from a new contract that extends through Dec. 31, 2015, and includes retention-based awards "to recognize the critical nature of this talent to our business and the importance of continuity of leadership."

Last year, he was paid a base salary of $1.25 million, up 4.2 percent, and received option awards worth $1.35 million. He also received $1.7 million in nonequity incentives, $2 million change in pension value and $441,155 in other compensation.

Lowe oversees the Knoxville-based company whose media portfolio includes lifestyle television and Internet brands HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and country music network Great American Country.

The company's consolidated operating revenue in 2012 totaled $2.3 billion, up 11 percent from the prior year. Segment profit increased to $1 billion, up 6.5 percent from the prior year.

Consolidated income was $681 million, or $4.44 per share, compared with $473 million, or $2.86 per share in 2011.

Shares of the company hit a 52-week low of $45.67 a year ago but has been on the rise hitting a new 52-week high on Monday trading at $67.26.

Other top Scripps executives were also rewarded last year. Joseph NeCastro, chief financial and administrative officer, saw his total compensation increase 21 percent to $4.3 million, including an increase in stock awards worth $1.6 million, up from $930,000. His base salary rose to $824,000.

Scripps Networks President John Lansing's compensation totaled $5.6 million up from $3.9 million, including stock awards valued at $2.5 million, up from $1.1 million.

Anatolio Cruz, former chief legal officer and corporate secretary, left the company in December with $4.75 million.

Cynthia Gibson, who came on board Nov. 30 as executive vice president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary, earned $1.5 million.

Mark Hale, executive vice president, operations and chief technology officer, saw his total pay increase slightly to $1.77 million, up from $1.67 million.

The company will report first quarter 2013 operating results before the market opens on May 2. A telephone conference call with members of the company's senior management team will follow at 10 a.m.

The annual meeting of shareholders will be held on May 14.

Source: (c)2013 the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

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