Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dubow, Gannett execs in great position if they ever lose their jobs

The Tucson Citizen received a last minute reprieve from Gannett Tuesday as the company continues to negotiate with two potential buyers, according to published reports.

But while Citizen employees are wondering where their next paychecks will come from, Gannett CEO Craig Dubow and other top company executives could lose their jobs tomorrow and they would be set for life.

While Citizen employees and other Gannett employees who have been cut loose during the past several months find themselves thrust into a work world that no longer seems to value their services, a proxy statement filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicates Dubow would receive a severance package worth nearly $30 million if he is fired following a change of control in the company and more than $6 million if he leaves on his own.

The proxy statement shows that Dubow and his four top lieutenants would receive a combined total of nearly $60 million if ownership changed and the new owners decided to clean house, with $29,943,423 of that amount going to Dubow.

The Gannett CEO is also sitting pretty if he decides to leave the company on his own. The proxy statement says he would receive a total of $7,538,624 in benefits, including $6,439,524 for his pension and $1,099,100 in restricted stock units.

And even though that kind of money would leave him able to buy nearly anything his heart might desire, Gannett has sweetened the deal even more. In addition to the $7 million plus, in the event of his voluntary departure, Dubow would receive the following:

-$25,000 to $50,000 per year of life insurance coverage
-Reimbursement of full cost of Medicare supplement for Plan B to the rest of his life
-legal and financial counseling
-use of company aircraft for three years (but only when it is available and does have to reimburse Gannett for the cost)
-ownership of existing home office equipment
-computer assistants for three years
-use of an office, secretarial assistants, and access to company facilities at no charge for three years
-membership to a country club

But give Gannett credit; the company knows where to draw the line. All of these fringe benefits will be canceled immediately if Dubow helps one of the company's competitors.

So please, let us not hear any more self-serving nonsense about how much Dubow is sacrificing when he willingly goes along with his furlough plan and gives up a week's worth of his annual $1 million salary. The man is set for life, something he apparently does not take into consideration when he cuts jobs right and left and tries to convince the remaining employees they should be grateful that all he and his fellow top executives are allowing to keep their jobs if they give up a week's salary.


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