Tronc Paid Ross Levinsohn’s Consultancy $600K for This Reco: Hire Ross Levinsohn

New CEO of Los Angeles Times has been consulting for the newspaper since 2016

Monday, the Los Angeles Times whacked four top editors and installed media veteran Ross Levinsohn as its CEO and publisher, with a salary of at least $1 million a year. One person who helped the paper decide on its new boss: Ross Levinsohn.

The former Yahoo interim CEO’s three-year contract, which guarantees him a base of $600,000 a year with an additional $100,000 each quarter, was revealed in a Wednesday SEC filing from Times parent company tronc. But more interestingly, tronc also disclosed that it had paid Levinsohn’s consulting firm, WAYD, $300,000 each in 2016 and 2017 before terminating their consulting agreement on June 1.

Levinsohn, a longtime media executive who has worked at News Corp and Hollywood Reporter parent Guggenheim Digital Media in addition to Yahoo, faces a tough challenge trying to re-energize a publication that has fallen behind competitors like the New York Times and Washington Post, who have each boosted their web traffic and built a thriving digital subscription business.

As part of his compensation, Levinsohn is eligible for an annual bonus of up to 166 and two-thirds percent of his annual salary if he hits certain company-wide and individual targets. He is also eligible for a separate bonus relating to the revenue from content syndicated internationally, which could be a preview of the Times’ strategy to grow its online presence. Furthermore, he will receive 400,000 restricted stock units and 200,000 options vesting over three years, which are worth about $8 million at Tronc’s current share price.

With that pay package, it’s no huge surprise Ross Levinsohn’s consulting firm figured they had the right man for the job.