Projo parent company’s top four execs share $1.7M in bonuses

Robert Decherd
Robert Decherd

The Providence Journal’s parent company gave its top executives pay raises and $1.7 million in bonuses in 2012 as they eked out an annual profit for the first time.

A.H. Belo awarded CEO Robert Decherd $1.9 million in 2012, up from $1.6 million in 2011 and $499,180 in 2009, according to a Securities & Exchange Commission filing.

Decherd’s compensation included a $567,692 salary, bumped up from $480,000 in 2011; $705,678 in cash bonuses; $487,500 in stock awards; and $127,139 in other benefits, including $7,920 for life insurance. Decherd is also A.H. Belo’s chairman and president.

In addition, the Dallas-based company said it paid Executive Vice President James Moroney $1.4 million in 2012, up from $1.1 million in 2011; Chief Financial Officer Alison Engel $805,490, up from $626,091; and Senior Vice President Daniel Blizzard $557,672, up from $424,991. Former executive John McKeon received $272,286 before his departure last April.

A.H. Belo swung to a net profit of $526,000 in 2012, compared with a net loss of $10.9 million in 2011, as revenue fell 4% to $440 million. The company’s stock was at $5.80 a share Tuesday in late-morning New York Stock Exchange trading, up 25% so far this year.

A.H. Belo said the amount it pays its top executives reflects the turmoil in the media sector and the increase in their responsibilities caused by reductions in the size of the company’s management. The consulting firm Mercer advises the company on executive pay.

“The newspaper industry continues to experience substantial change caused by the effect of the Internet and other transformational technologies on consumers and advertisers and the rapid ascent of new media businesses,” A.H. Belo said in the SEC filing.

“From an executive compensation perspective, this business environment underscores the importance of attracting and retaining both experienced and high-potential executives, and rewarding superior individual performance that may not presently be reflected in the company’s stock price, revenues or operating profit,” the company continued.

(’s compensation estimates differ from some amounts reported in SEC filings because the filings add in yearly changes in the actuarial value of executives’ pensions.)

A.H. Belo will hold its annual shareholder meeting on May 16 in Dallas. Decherd, 61, and Moroney, 56, control 50.3% of A.H. Belo shareholder votes, according to the SEC filing. The company’s seven non-executive board members received between $120,524 and $135,359 each for their service.

• Related: Projo revenue nearly steady in 2012, but ad sales are down 66% (March 12)

Ted Nesi ( ) covers politics and the economy for and writes the Nesi’s Notes blog. Follow him on Twitter: @tednesi

4 thoughts on “Projo parent company’s top four execs share $1.7M in bonuses

  1. Remember: It’s not about journalism or reporting news, it’s about the Benjamins….. God Bless those journalists who keep plugging along in fewer and fewer numbers to make Belo’s bottom line look good and reward those who deserve it least.

  2. And don’t be surprised to see more layoffs at the ProJo within the next two months. Recall what happened in 2011: executive raises in April; layoffs in June.

  3. If the Journal goes under, it won’t be because of the A.H. Belo executive raises. It will be of its own doing. The paper is chock full of typos. And check out the PBruins contest promo ad on page B2 of Tuesday’s sports section. I’m not sure if the paper’s sports department or some other department designed this ad, but c’mom, the hockey skate is from the 1980s, plus the ad shows a wooden stick. Memo to the ProJo: the pros stop using wood sticks a long time ago! Think anybody is going to take that ad seriously? So sloppy. So lazy. Typical of the entire paper.

  4. Another Belo property, the Riverside Press-Enterprise, is a shameful relic of what it once was. Having laid off half the staff over the past 5 years (including both my wife and myself), the paper itself is poorly laid out, the news is mostly off the wire and they use columnists to go after hard news (needless to say, it doesn’t work). Good people shown the door while the Head Noodnicks just wait to retire. Sigh.

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