News Corp. refocuses compensation

Bonus for Murdoch, others tied more closely to performance

NEW YORK -- News Corp. is the latest entertainment conglomerate to tie compensation for top executives closer to the company's stock and operating performance.

The media giant hopes to align management's interests more closely with shareholder interests. Previously, the compensation committee of News Corp.'s board made compensation awards more based on earnings per share and its own discretion.

In a regulatory filing Tuesday, News Corp. said chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, president, COO and deputy chairman Chase Carey, CFO David DeVoe and Murdoch son James, CEO of the firm's Europe and Asia business, will be affected by the change.

Beginning with the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, they will be eligible to receive annual bonuses, two-thirds of which will be based on financial and operating performance as compared to the company's annual budget, with the other third being based on qualitative factors. The top execs will also get an annual grant of performance stock units that will have a three- year performance measurement period.

Murdoch's target bonus for the current fiscal year is $12.5 million, with a maximum of $25 million. His target for performance stock units is a value of $4 million. Carey sees his annual base salary cut in half to $4.05 million. His target bonus is $10 million with the maximum bonus being $20 million. But his performance stock unit opportunity is valued at $10 million.

The regulatory filing with the SEC also showed that DeVoe's employment agreement has been extended by five years to run through Nov. 14, 2014.
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