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MGM Reports Ousted CEO Gary Barber’s $15 Million Severance, Drop in Q1 Earnings

The studio is investing heavily to help growth at Epix

MGM reported earnings for the first quarter of 2018 that were down significantly compared to same quarter a year ago. Part of the reason for the decline was the $15.36 million the studio said it paid in severance to ousted CEO Gary Barber.

MGM, which is a private company, reported net income of $858,000 in the quarter, compared with income of $35.68 million during the same period a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter was $271.53 million, up from $264.15 million last year.

Film revenue fell to $105.72 million from $162.92 million a year ago and revenue at the studio’s TV content segment fell to $55.33 million from $86.44 million. Revenue for MGM’s media networks, however, rose to $110.48 million from $14.79 million during the same quarter a year ago.

Since Barber’s departure in March, MGM has been run by a new leadership structure called “Office of the CEO,” which is comprised of the company’s senior leadership and division heads.

Chris Brearton, MGM’s chief operating officer, said that the new leadership team is up and running and focused on the company’s future success.

“This is an important time for MGM. Our new leadership structure is coalescing well and executing both thoughtfully and with expediency on our strategy,” Brearton said during the call. “We’re focused on creating a success-driven environment; not just for our people, but also for the talent and partners we work with and we’re in a terrific position to execute on the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Brearton spent much of the time during the quarterly call with analysts and investors talking about the studio’s growth and investment plans for Epix, which it bought in May last year.

Chief Financial Officer Kenneth Kay said during the call that the studio’s first-quarter results were also impacted by higher expenses related to programming and marketing investments in Epix.

He did say, however, that results were in-line with expectations and that the company expects the investment strategy to continue to impact the company’s results next quarter.