The Brawler realizes he's late to this, but it's a pet peeve of his and he's paying for the right to use this bandwidth so ... why are top managers of Journal Communications receiving retention bonuses? Is anyone seriously going to hire these guys?
The "retention awards" for JRN leaders were described in a December 23 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission:
Recognizing the importance of retaining key talent to guide the Company through current media industry and macro-economic challenges, as well as the longer-term evolution of the media industry, the Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors of the Company approved on December 21, 2008 the grant of two-year retention awards to certain senior officers, including named executive officers Steven J. Smith, Douglas G. Kiel, Elizabeth Brenner, and Kenneth L. Kozminski, and principal financial officer, Andre J. Fernandez. The retention awards are in the form of restricted Class B stock granted under the Company’s 2007 Omnibus Incentive Plan with a grant date of December 23, 2008, which will vest and become nonforfeitable on December 23, 2010 if the grantee is then still employed with the Company or its affiliates. A total of 180,000 restricted Class B shares were granted.
What evidence do we have that any of the aforementioned executives have the slightest clue on how to guide the company through "current media industry and macro-economic challenges" or through the "longer-term evolution of the media industry"?
Given JRN's financial performance and the fact that on December 19 JRN disclosed it might take a goodwill impairment charge "potentially ... up to the total amount of the Company’s goodwill" -- $240.4 million -- the Brawler would suggest the answer is "not" and "much."
Indeed, the Brawler would suggest that the named executive officers should be thanking their lucky stars that they're getting paid. And Steven Smith is no doubt laughing that he has a 9-year contract.
JUST IN: Bruce Murphy, the best reporter in the state who's not Bob McGinn, piles on. Hey Bruce: How about the courtesy of a hat tip next time?