MGM Paid Gary Barber $15M in Severance After Ouster

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Barber was removed in March, and MGM has been run by an "Office of the CEO" since then.

MGM Holdings posted net income of just $858,000 in the first quarter, down from $35.2 million a year earlier, even as it grew revenue slightly to $271.5 million, the owner of Epix Entertainment and one of Hollywood's biggest libraries of film and TV content said Wednesday.

Since former CEO Gary Barber was ousted in March, MGM has been run by an "Office of the CEO," which comprises a group of the company's senior leaders and division heads. MGM disclosed Wednesday that it paid Barber $15.4 million in severance, which explains some of the drop in net income for the quarter.

By segment, revenue for film content dropped 35 percent to $105.7 million and TV content fell 36 percent to $55.3 million, while media networks soared 647 percent to $110.5 million due to last year's acquisition of Epix, the company said Wednesday.

MGM boasted of impressive earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization for media networks due to "robust deliveries of new television content, including Vikings and The Handmaid's Tale, as well as our unscripted shows like The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank and The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."

The company managed to grow its worldwide theatrical revenue for film to $8.7 million this year compared to $5.1 million a year earlier due to Every Day from Orion Pictures, and international revenue for Death Wish and Sherlock Gnomes.

Revenue from worldwide TV licensing fell to $67 million from $103.6 million as MGM relied on library film content this time around, while last year it had TV premieres for Me Before You and Barbershop: The Next Cut. Also, last year featured free TV showings of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies in some territories and worldwide VOD revenue from The Magnificent Seven and Ben-Hur.

On a conference call, the company noted that Epix has ordered 10 episodes of Pennyworth, a Batman prequel show about Alfred the butler, and it is working on a 10-episode show starring Forest Whitaker called Godfather of Harlem. Epix accounted for about $100 million of MGM's revenue and $34 million of its EBITDA during the quarter.

For the entire company, EBITDA fell to $65 million in the quarter after it posted $88.3 million in the same period last year.