New York Times CEO Mark Thompson’s 2016 Pay Drops 43 Percent

Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. sees his compensation slip 13 percent year over year

Last Updated: March 7, 2017 @ 2:53 PM

Who says newspapers are dying? Well, perhaps the 2016 pay for the New York Times’ top two executives. CEO Mark Thompson’s annual compensation dropped 43 percent in 2016, according to a new SEC filing.

Publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.’s pay also slipped, though not as drastically, dipping 13 percent year over year. All-in, Sulzberger made $5.1 million, down from $5.9 million.

Thompson made $4.9 million in 2016 compared to $8.7 million in 2015.

From 2015 to 2016, Thompson’s salary stayed flat at $1 million. His stock award total saws the largest difference, declining from $5 million to $2 million. That multimillion dollar discrepancy is more a reflection of Thompson’s 2015 retention bonus than some sort of decline in holdings or performance. The chief executive officer’s non-equity incentive plan compensation reduced from a rounded $2.6 million to $1.8 million.

Sulzberger Jr.’s salary was unchanged at $1.087 million. Stock awards of $2 million were more or less unchanged. The publisher’s non-equity incentive plan compensation declined from $2.7 million to $1.9 million.

Last month, the Times announced its fourth-quarter revenue decreased 1.1 percent to $439.7 million from $444.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, with print advertising revenue dropping 20 percent. Still, it finished with a quarterly profit of $37.1 million.

For 2016, the Times reported a profit of $29.1 million, or 18 cents per share, while revenue was reported as $1.56 billion. Thompson focused on digital growth in the paper’s quarterly earnings report, as digital advertising revenue increased 10.9 percent.

“The continued excellence of our journalism and our consumer-first focus led to incredible strength in our circulation business, both in the fourth quarter and for the full year,” Thompson said at the time. “As of today, we have passed the 3 million paid subscription mark (print and digital), a significant milestone.”

He continued: “In Q4, we added 276,000 net new digital news subscriptions, the single best quarter since 2011, the year the pay model launched. With the rate of growth accelerating over the past year, we believe that there is further opportunity to significantly extend our subscription reach, both in the U.S. and around the world.”