Murdoch Gets Pay Boost

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As the closing date for it $5.6 billion deal to acquire Dow Jones & Co. draws nearer, News Corp. disclosed Thursday that its chairman Rupert Murdoch reaped $32.1 million in salary and other compensation in fiscal 2007, a 25% bump in pay compared to the previous year.

News Corp.’s $5.6 billion deal to buy Dow Jones, parent of the Wall Street Journal, was approved by the Dow Jones board last month. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

According to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Thursday, Murdoch received $8.1 million in salary, $1.01 million in stock awards, $15.8 million in non-equity incentive plan compensation and $6.9 million from a change in pension value and deferred compensation earnings. According to previous proxy filings, Murdoch received $25.7 million in compensation in fiscal 2006.

But Murdoch wasn’t even the highest paid News Corp. executive. That distinction belongs to president and chief operating officer Peter Chernin, who edged out his boss by making $33.985 million in salary and other compensation for the fiscal year.

Chernin’s pay package included an $8.1 million salary, $12.9 million in stock awards, $10.4 million in non-equity compensation and $1.1 million from a change in pension value and deferred compensation earnings.

Rounding out News Corp.’s top earners were chief financial officer David DeVoe, who made $11.73 million; Fox News Channel chairman and CEO and Fox Television Stations chairman Roger Ailes (who also is heading up start-up network Fox Business Channel) who took home $10.9 million; and senior executive vice president and group general counsel Lawrence Jacobs, who made $4.1 million for the fiscal year.

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