Scripps CEO receives $8 mil in 2006


NEW YORK -- E.W. Scripps Co.'s chief executive received compensation last year valued by the media company at slightly more than $8 million, according to a regulatory filing on Friday.

Kenneth W. Lowe received $1.05 million in salary, but he did not receive a bonus, the company said in its annual proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company said its non-equity incentive plan compensation for Lowe was worth $1.26 million. Lowe's base salary did not go up in 2006 and he instead received the $1.26 million award as a cash payment based on meeting operational goals that were higher than the previous year. The award was calculated as 120% of his base salary. In 2005, he got 100% of his salary as a performance cash award.

Lowe also received perks valued at $69,980: Reimbursement for financial planning services, worth $15,000; annual membership fees and other dues associated with dining, business and country clubs, worth $12,980; $10,500 in reimbursement of taxes on the financial planning services; and a $31,500 match for his retirement plans. By contract, he also is reimbursed each year for the cost of an annual doctor's visit.

Scripps' proxy statement further revealed that Lowe received stock and option awards totaling about $5.7 million. He received an annual grant of 125,000 stock options, worth $1.6 million and two additional stock option grants tied to a decision to extend his employment agreement to Dec. 31, 2008. In the special awards, he was granted 50,000 restricted shares worth $2.5 million and 125,000 options worth $1.6 million, the company said.

The Associated Press' calculations of total pay include executives' salary, bonus, incentives, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. The calculations do not include changes in the present value of pension benefits.

During the course of the year with Lowe at the helm of the media giant, advertising sales and revenue fell at newspapers -- a challenge faced by other media conglomerates as well. The Cincinnati-based Scripps owns about 20 daily newspapers, including the Rocky Mountain News in Denver and Memphis' The Commercial Appeal. In January, the company said it was considering leaving the newspaper business because of the revenue declines.

Scripps also owns several cable channels including HGTV and the Food Network which have been more successful in boosting profits for the company.

For the year, Scripps posted a rise in earnings and profits, but it was less than what Wall Street's analysts were predicting. Profits rose 42% from 2005, but analysts were hoping for a rise of about 52% for the year, according to a poll by Thomson Financial.

Shares of the company, meanwhile, have fallen 9% during the past year.