WHYY CEO's Pay Draws Criticism
November 10, 2008 at 5:12 AM (PT)
The President /CEO of noncommercial Talk WHYY-F and PBS affiliate WHYY-TV/PHILADELPHIA makes the most money of any public station in the top-10 markets, and that compensation has raised eyebrows and attention from the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER.
The paper noted that WILLIAM J. MARRAZZO's potential pay, benefits and expenses rang up a total of $740,090 for the fiscal year ending JUNE 20th, 2007, including $415,993 in salary, $317,240 in benefits (including $280,000 in deferred compensation dependent on meeting certain goals), and $6,857 in expenses. MARRAZZO, a former water commissioner in PHILADELPHIA who joined WHYY in 1997, made more than the heads of larger operations like WNET (TV)-WLIW-TV/NEW YORK, KCET (TV)/LOS ANGELES, and WGBH-F-TV/BOSTON, each of which has five to six times the revenue of WHYY, and is more than the CEOs of NPR and PBS.
KEN BERGER, President /Exec. Director of website CHARITY NAVIGATOR, which tracks nonprofit companies' financial performance, called MARRAZZO's pay "definitely off our charts."
WHYY Board Chairman JERRY SWEENEY told the INQUIRER that MARRAZZO is worth the money for leading the station's $50 million fundraising drive and transition to digital. "The board takes the long view, which is we want a platinum station," SWEENEY told the paper. "MARRAZZO is the guy who executes all that." Board Vice Chairman LELAND WARE said, "We also know how this looks to the public. But this is a deliberate strategy we adopted to maintain and grow." MARRAZO said that his pay is the board's responsibility, telling the paper, "They designed the package. I didn't."