A federal bankruptcy judge has cleared the way for Journal Register Co. to emerge from bankruptcy protection, but Connecticut’s attorney general vows to appeal the ruling, which approves over $1 million in bonuses for executives. "This decision means that bankruptcy is no bar against bloated big-time bonuses," says Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.I didn't know there was any barrier against paying big bonuses to execs who have a record of failure.
In fact, paying tons of money to newspaper execs seems to be the rule -- even if they have helped drive their companies into bankruptcy.
Take McClatchy. VP of operations Lynn Dickerson was laid off last week, and the company rewarded her with a $690,000 lump sum severance package.
The remaining McClatchy executives are sitting pretty.
CEO Gary Pruitt declined his 2008 and 2009 bonuses, and his 2009 base salary was reduced by 15 percent. Salaries of executive officers were also cut by 15 percent.
But even with Pruitt waiving his bonus and the execs taking a 15% salary reduction, the corporate suits are well compensated, regardless of the company's near-desperate financial condition. According to published reports, Gary Pruitt made $4.6 million in total compensation last year, and the VPs made about $1 million each. Nice work if you can get it.