DirecTV CEO paid $6.5 million in '06

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DirecTV Group Inc. paid chief executive Chase Carey compensation valued at $6.5 million in 2006, the satellite TV broadcaster disclosed Friday in its proxy statement.

Carey was paid salary of $2,149,590 and a bonus of $4 million, according to the filing by DirecTV, which is slated to undergo a major shift in ownership between media titans, from Rupert Murdoch to John Malone.

He also received perquisites that DirecTV valued at $325,256, including $204,303 for company contributions to an executive savings plans. The perks also included $54,479 for personal use of company aircraft and $3,562 for reimbursement for taxes on that usage, as well as $35,071 in company contributions to medical plans, and $11,473 in matching contributions for Carey's donations to charity.

The Associated Press calculates total pay based on salary, bonuses, incentives, perquisites, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the value of stock options and other awards granted during the year. This figure may differ from the total compensation reported under a new formula dictated by the SEC.

The company awarded Carey more than his target bonus for the year, saying he presided over numerous accomplishments in 2006. These included the launch of a high-definition DVR, or digital video recorder, and increasing the average revenue per subscriber.

The company did well financially in 2006, reporting net income of $1.42 billion, or $1.12 per share, compared to $336 million, or 22 cents per share, for 2005. Full-year revenue was $14.8 billion, compared to $13.2 billion in 2005.

The company also increased its subscribers to more than 16 million.

Shares of DirecTV have also risen. They closed unchanged at $23.89, near the upper end of the stock's 52-week range of $15.88 to $26.09, in Friday's trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. agreed earlier this year to swap its 38.4% stake in DirecTV to John Malone's Liberty Media Corp. in exchange for $550 million in cash and Liberty's roughly $11 billion stake in News Corp. The agreement is awaiting regulatory approval.
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