Cablevision Execs Take Slight Pay Cuts in 2013

Chairman Charles Dolan Takes the Biggest Hit
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 Cablevision Systems executives saw their total compensation packages fall in 2013, with chairman and founder Charles Dolan taking the biggest hit, a 41% decrease, according to a proxy statement filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Charles Dolan’s total compensation dropped to $9.75 million for the year, down 41.3% from the $16.6 million he received in 2012. The main difference was in option awards – he received no such awards in 2013, compared to $7.1 million in 2012.

Other Cablevision executives saw less dramatic declines in their overall compensation. CEO James Dolan received $15.99 million in compensation in 2013, about 5.4% less than the $16.9 million he received in the prior year. Vice chairman and chief financial officer Gregg Seibert saw his pay dip 8.8% to $10 million in 2013, down from $10.96 million in 2012.

Cablevision had a rough year in 2013 – total video subscribers fell by about 80,000 and high-speed data and phone growth was sluggish. The victim of its own past success, Cablevision still leads the industry in total penetration of advanced services – its 55.2% HSD penetration,  45.1% phone penetration and 55.9% video penetration outpace other MSOs by a wide margin. But that success has made it difficult to squeeze additional growth out of the business, especially as Verizon Communications’ FiOS TV has continued its aggressive push in Cablevision territory. Cablevision has battled back with a robust WiFi offering – it has more than 100,000 hotspots – adding channels and rolling out its new User Interface (Onyx) and a cloud DVR product that allows customers to record up to 15 shows at once.