Bewkes Takes $2 Million Haircut


Time Warner Inc. chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes took a 9% pay cut in 2009, hauling in $19.6 million in total compensation for the year, down from $21.6 million in the prior year, according to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission March 26.
Bewkes' base salary remained the same at $1.75 million and the chairman and CEO did not receive a bonus for the year. While he also saw a big boost in non-equity based incentive compensation -- to $12.1 million from $7.6 million in 2008, Bewkes' stock option awards fell 43% to $3.04 million in 2009, down from $5.3 million in the prior year.
While the dismal state of the economy has dragged on all media companies, Time Warner fared well in 2009.  Revenue was down 3% to $25.8 billion due to slumping ad sales, but cash flow rose a healthy 9% to $5.7 billion. The company also completed several strategic initiatives during the year, including the split off of its Time Warner Cable distribution arm, the separation of its AOL online unit and the launching of its TV Everywhere initiative.
Chief financial officer John Martin also saw his total compensation dip about 15% to $6.3 million from $7.4 million in 2008. Martin's $1 million base salary remained constant, but he too experienced a decline in stock option awards -- $1.3 million in 2009 compared to $2.9 million in 2008.