Several USA Networks Inc. senior staffers are seeing red after not getting
any green in the company's $10.3 billion deal with Vivendi Universal S.A.
In light of that deal, a number of senior executives are angry at USA's
decision not to offer year-end bonuses or cash-out stock options, sources
A mass walkout or strike -- rumors of which had surfaced -- does not appear
to be on the executives' agenda, at least in the short term.
'I don't know if it's gotten to a level of a walkout, but people are very
upset at how they are being treated,' one source close to USA said, confirming a
New York Daily News report. 'I wouldn't be surprised if there are a lot
of people that end up ultimately leaving.'
As part of the deal, Vivendi will pay USA $1.62 billion in cash and take its
41 percent stake in the company, worth another $7 billion. In addition, Vivendi
will pay Liberty Media Corp. $1.65 billion in its own stock for Liberty's stake
USA chairman Barry Diller will receive 1.5 percent of the newly created
Vivendi Universal Entertainment, which will include its Universal Studios, as
well as the USA Network, Sci Fi Channel and USA Studios assets. Diller will lead
USA Networks will be renamed USA Interactive Inc. and house such assets as
Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster and Citysearch, with Diller remaining as
But sources said the financial benefits of the deal have not trickled down to
USA senior managers, not to mention staffers.
As a result, sources close to the network said, as many as four midlevel
advertising account managers left the company two weeks ago because of the
network's bonus denials.
But another source close to the situation said USA contacted employees,
saying that a decision on bonuses had not been made.
Company representatives would not comment on the