New Line Cinema’s Shaye outearns Turner’s Ted

The highest-paid exec within Turner Broadcasting is none other than New Line chairman Bob Shaye, who earned $2.89 million in salary and bonus last year, roughly double what Ted Turner or any other Turner exec made.

Shaye, the founder of New Line Cinema who sold the indie to TBS in January 1994, also received $1 million worth of stock and 2.1 million shares of stock options with a future value estimated at $18.9 million, TBS said in its proxy statement released Friday. The stock grants were one-time events connected with Shaye signing an employment agreement at the time of TBS’ acquisition of New Line.

Unfortunately for Shaye, the options were granted at the date of New Line’s acquisition by Turner, when TBS stock was trading at $26 – compared to its current price of just under $20.

As a result, most of Shaye’s options are worthless at current market prices. But he is unlikely to be too worried; he can only exercise a small portion of the options immediately anyway. The proxy says the options may be exercised over several years, “provided that New Line meets certain performance goals.”

The fact that Shaye is now pulling down more money than Ted Turner will doubtless cause amusement among those who know them both in the industry. Turner has been a rich man for many years. Shaye, by contrast, until recently ran a very frugal operation from rather shabby offices and, by Hollywood standards, lived a rather middle-class existence based in New York.

Shaye’s cash compensation was made up of $1.38 million in salary and $1.51 million in bonus, compared with Turner’s salary of $945,000 and bonus of $596,030. TBS’ exec VP Terence McGuirk, VP for entertainment Scott Sassa and VP for news Tom Johnson each earned slightly less than Turner.

But unlike Shaye, all four received long-term incentive cash payouts ranging from $810,219 for Turner to $456,669 for Johnson last year, in addition to salary and bonus. These payouts reflect the company’s operating performance between 1992 and 1994, the proxy said.

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