Paul J Bascobert, the new President/CEO of Gannett Co Inc., will earn a bit more than his rank-and-file employees — $4.5 million to be exact.
As previously reported, two of the nation’s largest newspaper chains that specialize in cutting local news coverage announced a merger, with GateHouse Media coming out on top of Gannett.
Los Angeles Times correspondent Matt Pearce shared his thoughts on the pay package on Twitter. He said, “The new Gannett/Gatehouse CEO is getting $4.5 million in bonuses and stock just for walking in the door. Must be nice to be a newspaper executive.”
— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) August 7, 2019
Gannett’s Form 8-K merger filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission is here.
According to an SEC filing of the offer of employment, his base salary will be $725,000.
Shareholders of New Media Investment Group, GateHouse’s owner, decided they didn’t like the merger, the New York Post reported, sending “the stock on a dizzying downward spiral since Monday.”
At the time, the deal looked like it was going to give $12.06 a share for Gannett shareholders as it included a payout of $6.25 in cash and 0.5427 worth of New Media Investment Group stock for each share of Gannett stock.
But on Tuesday, the New Media Investment Group stock plunged over 18% — after a 7% drop on Monday. The stock hit a new 52-week low of $8 a share Tuesday before settling at $8.06.
The new President/CEO has an annual cash performance bonus, according to the filing:
You will be eligible to receive a target annual cash performance bonus of 100% of Base Salary as of the end of the applicable performance year (the “Target Annual Bonus”) based on the achievement of such performance criteria as may be established by the Board or a committee thereof in accordance with the terms of the annual bonus plan applicable to senior executives of the Company as in effect from time to time and in consultation with you; provided, that, for the 2019 calendar year and subject to your continued employment through December 31, 2019, you will receive the Target Annual Bonus at the same time that annual bonuses are paid to senior executives of the Company and, in any event, no later than March 15, 2020.
Within ten (10) days following the Effective Date, you will receive a lump sum cash payment equal to $600,000 (the “Sign-On Bonus”), subject to repayment if your employment is terminated for “Cause” (as defined in the then-applicable severance plan referenced in Section 10 below) or you voluntarily resign your employment (following a Change in Control Transaction (as defined in Section 20 below), only if such voluntary termination is without “Limited Good Reason” (as defined under Section 20 below)), in either case prior to December 31, 2020.
One of Bascobert’s business biographies is here. He was the co-founder of Vertex Partners.
Bascobert also served as president of Bloomberg BusinessWeek and was responsible for increasing circulation and creating new revenue opportunities for The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, WSJ.com, MarketWatch.com and barrons.com, according to VB Profiles.
He also filed a patent for a “a method for generating mailers to be delivered to members contained on a contact list.”
Bascobert’s LinkedIn profile says he served as president of XO Group Inc.
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