Belo CEO in line for big salary hike

Robert W. Decherd, big boss at Dallas-based Belo Corporation -- owner of the ProJo -- has taken some voluntary compensation hits in recent years. So does word that his base salary will more than double indicate an overdue payday or gross insensitivity following a series of layoffs at such properties as the Journal (see here and here) and the continuing meltdown of the newspaper industry?

At least Belo's flagship Dallas Morning News doesn't mince words in describing the situation (h/t Romenesko):

Robert W. Decherd, A.H. Belo's chairman, president and chief executive, will receive a salary of $600,000 in 2009, compared with $250,000 this year, the company said.

Mr. Decherd voluntarily reduced his salary this year, after receiving $985,000 in 2007 as chairman and CEO of pre-split Belo Corp.

A.H. Belo hasn't reported a profit in the 10 months since it was spun off from Belo Corp. The company's stock price has fallen 85 percent from its closing price on its first day of trading in February.

Like other newspaper companies, A.H. Belo faces daunting business challenges, as more readers and advertisers flock to online news and information sources. It recently cut about 500 employees through voluntary severance offers and layoffs, and froze salaries for most of those remaining.

It also suspended its dividend until at least January. It was not immediately apparent how much income Mr. Decherd lost from reduced dividend payments.

He also waived his 2008 bonus, which probably would have been about $330,000, the company said. In 2007, he received a $3 million bonus, about $2.1 million of which was tied to the spinoff. function autoFeed(theFeed){ var script = document.createElement('link'); script.type = "application/rss+xml"; script.rel = "alternate" script.title = "BUSINESS " script.href = "" + theFeed; document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].appendChild(script); } var rssFile = "rss/" var rssLink = ""; var qs = '/newskiosk/rss/dallasnewsbusiness.xml' if (qs.length > 1) { rssFile = qs.substring(1,qs.length); if (rssFile.substring(0,1) == "/") { rssFile = rssFile.substring(1,rssFile.length); } autoFeed(rssFile); } rssLink = ""; yahooLink = "" DIV#article_tools_bottom A { FONT-SIZE: 9px }

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