Liberty Media CEO Earned $57.2 Million in 2012

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Liberty Media CEO Gregory Maffei earned $57.2 million in 2012, up from $3.2 million a year prior, the company disclosed Friday.

Board chairman John Malone was paid $807,366, up from $535,807.

General counsel Charles Tanabe earned $7.9 million, up from $976,544. Senior vp Albert Rosenthaler made $4.2 million, up from $608,678, and CFO Christopher Shean earned $4.1 million, up from $532,759.

Maffei's huge boost was due almost entirely to stock option awards: In 2012, he was awarded $53.9 million worth while the previous year he received zero.

Liberty also explained details of its "option modification program," which resulted in big options grants in 2012 when the company was sure it could take full advantage of a compensation deduction under current tax law and rates.

"We believed that the corporate tax rate would decrease in 2013 and beyond due to the wide-spread 'fiscal cliff' concerns, which would result in the need for comprehensive tax reform," Liberty said in its filing. "As a result, we sought to realize the compensation deduction in respect of the affected incentive awards at a potentially higher corporate tax rate than if such deduction were realized in later years."

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