Roger Ailes’ Compensation?

BusinessWeek’s Ronald Grover writes about Roger Ailes’ financial dividends from FNC and FBN, guaranteeing Grover won’t be getting any FNC/FBN Christmas cards from their PR departments this year…

Anyone who ever wondered how important the Fox News Channel is to Rupert Murdoch and News Corp (NWS) need only peruse the company’s recent proxy statement. Roger Ailes, the former media consultant for Ronald Reagan who runs Fox News and other News Corp TV properties, collected almost $24 million last year in salary, bonuses, stock grants and other benefits – nearly $2 million more than Murdoch himself.

What makes the 69-year old Ailes so crucial to News Corp is the money-generating machine he has created out of Fox News, which clobbers both CNN (TWX) and MSNBC (GE) in ratings, and has become the third most watched cable channel during prime time. Its prime time anchors Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity are must-watch TV for news junkies.

That’s one reason why a big chunk of Ailes’ cash bonus — $5.5 million – came from a spike in the cable channel’s cash flow, which cable TV analyst Derek Baine of SNL Kagan pegs at 65% last year. He says Fox News had cash flow of $502.6 million last year. The channel saw big hikes in the fees that cable and satellite operators pay to carry it, while ratings growth also boosted ad sales, Baine estimates. Thus, the company awarded Ailes the maximum amount it could award under his contract, the company said in its proxy statement.

One Response to “Roger Ailes’ Compensation?”

  1. I’m going to repost what I said on the “Whats Hot” thread since it pertains to Ailes compensation regarding FBN. Very smart moves on his part with Imus and Stossel and I’m sure he will be seeing those bonus’ by late 2010 or early 2011.

    PREVIOUS POST:

    Still with the Imus bashing. FBN finally does something smart in their 2 year history and they keep getting bashed by some for doing the right thing.

    Imus makes sense on so many levels. Look at the increase in carriage RFD got in the 2 years it had him on the air. What did they pick up during that time? About 20 million homes? Not bad at all. How many people will be saying it was a dumb move when 2 years from now FBN is in 70 million homes instead of 50M? Those extra 20 million homes will be worth around $36 million a year in license fees. Or that would mean they will be doing around $125 million a year from fees alone. That should put them in the black even with the Imus and Stossel signings.

    Of course another thing not mentioned is that FBN’s morning ratings are so low they don’t register. They do their best in prime time (unlike CNBC). Of course, FBN’s competition in the morning might want to do something different. They only do around 55,000 in the demo. Imus could give them a run for their money.

    One can be sure that when Imus goes on the air, FBN will start a new marketing campaign. They finally have a reason to push the channel.

    Instead of conceding anything to CNBC, they are finally starting to put up an actual fight. That’s what CNBC is scared about now. That’s why you see all the “exclusive” nonsense they are trying to get away with. While some bloggers might not know the threat, NBC suits know what this could mean.

    In addition to what I said before in the followups we covered how CNBC’s highest rated show a few years ago was “Deal Or No Deal” and some of the other shows aired on the all business network 15 years after they had started: Dennis Miller, John McEnroe etc. So lets lay off the newcomer for doing something when CNBC had already thrown in the towel before.

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