CTHRA Releases Compensation Report

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The Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association released the highlights of its “2005 CTHRA Compensation Report.”

The trade group said two surveys were conducted to compile the data -- one focused on cable and telecommunications operators, and one specific to cable programmers and broadcast networks. The Croner Co. compiled the research.

Among the highlights:

• Digital-broadcast platforms are converging technical-operations roles and information-technology positions.

• The success in establishing the Internet as an alternative programming outlet has resulted in the growth of online divisions within programming and broadcast networks.

• There has been more convergence of advertising-sales positions among sister broadcast networks and cable programmers.

• While stock options remain the most prevalent type of long-term incentive program among operators, the same is no longer true for programmers and broadcasters, among which it is now more common to see stock options offered in conjunction with restricted stock.

• Corporate management and technical personnel realized the greatest base-salary increases at operators.

• Overall base salaries increased 4.1% at operators compared with 4.3% last year. In comparison, base salaries within programmers and broadcast networks slowed over the past three years, with a 1.9% average increase reported this year versus 3.8% in 2004 and 4.9% in 2003.

• Merit-increase budgets have varied little over the past four years, holding steady at a median of 3.5% for participating telecommunications-service providers and 4% for programmers and broadcasters.

• Bonus awards reflected strong industry performance, with actual bonus awards among operators at 105% of target versus 95% last year. On average, non-sales bonus awards among programmers and broadcasters were 115%, up slightly from 113% in 2004. Over the same period, sales-bonus awards among programmers and broadcasters increased slightly from 124% to 125%.

• Compared with programmers and broadcasters, operators reported a wider range of the estimated value of annual equity awards for directors and above, excluding CEOs. The estimated value among operators ranged from 0.3-2.9 times base salary, whereas programmers and broadcasters reported the estimated value at 0.25-0.75 times base salary.

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