Journal Offers 'Retention Bonuses' To Execs
December 29, 2008 at 7:16 AM (PT)
Several members of the executive hierarchy at JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS were given what is called "two-year retention awards," nearly $400,000 worth of stock options on DEC. 23rd. The Milwaukee business journal reports that CEO STEVEN SMITH, Pres. DOUG KIEL, EVP ELIZABETH BRENNER, VP KENNETH KOZMINSKI and CFO ANDRE FERNANDEZ will split 180,000 shares of stock.
THE JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS board approved the grants on DEC. 21st, "recognizing the importance of retaining key talent to guide the company through current media industry and macro-economic challenges, as well as the longer-term evolution of the media industry," it said in an announcement. The retention awards are in the form of restricted Class B stock granted under the company’s 2007 incentive plan. The stock will vest and become nonforfeitable on DEC. 23rd, 2010 if a given recipient is still employed with the company.
The news comes days after the BIZ JOURNAL reported that JOURNAL paid retiring EVP/CFO Paul Bonaiuto a one-time discretionary bonus of $200,000 "in recognition and appreciation of Mr. Bonaiuto’s special assistance in the transition of his role over the course of this year and through his retirement," as well as a consulting agreement worth about $100,000 to "further facilitate an orderly transition of his prior responsibilities."
Earlier in the month, JOURNAL had laid off 39 staffers from The MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL and its COMMUNITY PUBLISHING GROUP --this after cutting 130 jobs in AUGUST and another 5% staff cut in the Fall of 2007.