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New York Times Keeps Status Quo on Exec Salaries; Tucks In Small Bonus

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
In keeping with the times, The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) didn't increase exec salaries for 2008, the third consecutive year they have remained the same. In a proxy filing with SEC earlier today, the company detailed some of those numbers for top management and company directors. Family owner and Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. will earn a base salary about $1.09 million this year, while CEO Janet Robinson will earn $1 million, the same they have been earning since 2006. But that doesn't mean they don't get some extra perks tucked in: according to the filing, Sulzberger did get a one-time discretionary bonus of $38,045, and Robinson received $35,000, both explained as "[r]ecognizing the impact of a multi-year salary freeze." Sulzberger's complete package, including stock and option awards, as well as deferred compensation, also fell second year in a row to $2.4 million in 2008, from $3.4 million in 2007, while Robinson's total package rose to $5.8 million from $4.1 million. The base salaries for execs will remain the same for 2009 as the well, the filing said.

This comes as the troubled newspaper company has been trying to pay off its hundreds of million in debts, as well as compensate for loss in ad revenues. Earlier this week it announced that it had reached a deal on the sale-leaseback of its midtown headquarters, which would give it $225 million; that move followed last month's $250 million loan from Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim Helu. The company has been using the proceeds to retire a portion of its $1.1 billion long-term debt, as one of its two $400 million revolving-credit facilities is due in May.

By Rafat Ali