Editorial
Times Editorial Board endorses Clinton
COMPANY TOWN

NBCUniversal's Steve Burke made $33.9 million in 2014, more than Comcast boss

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts received $33 million in compensation; NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke got $33.9 million

NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke received a slightly more handsome compensation package in 2014 than his boss, Brian Roberts, who is the chairman and chief executive of Comcast Corp.

Last year, Burke was awarded a compensation package valued at $33.9 million, an increase of 9% compared with the previous year, according to a Comcast proxy report filed Friday with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

NBCUniversal is wholly owned by Comcast of Philadelphia, the nation's largest cable TV operator.

The compensation plan for Roberts, who has managed Comcast for more than 15 years, was just under $33 million last year. That represented an increase of about 5% over 2013.

The difference between the two men's compensation packages was largely due to a higher contribution to Burke's deferred compensation plan. In other areas, Roberts received slightly more, including a $9-million cash bonus. Burke's cash bonus was $8.4 million.

The company is lobbying federal regulators to approve Comcast's proposed $45-billion deal to acquire Time Warner Cable. The merger would make Comcast the nation's largest pay-TV and Internet service provider with nearly 30 million customers. It would be the dominant operator in Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago.

However, Comcast is facing stiff resistance from consumer activists and rival entertainment companies worried that Comcast would use its clout in the market to squeeze programmers over fees. They argue that the company also would have an incentive to choke competition in the increasingly vibrant realm of online video streaming services.

Comcast expects that the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Justice Department will approve its proposed Time Warner Cable takeover sometime this summer. 

If the deal goes through, Comcast would provide service for more than 1.8 million households in the Los Angeles region.

Comcast compensation plans include salary, stock awards, options, cash bonuses and other perks, including travel on corporate jets.

Neil Smit, the chief executive of Comcast Cable Communications, which is in the business of managing the company's vast network of lines, pay-TV packages and customer service was the third-highest-paid Comcast executive.

His compensation, which was valued at $23.1 million, jumped the most of the top executives at Comcast. Smit's compensation went up more than 30% compared with last year, when he received a package valued at $17.4 million.

The company's outgoing chief financial officer, Michael Angelakis, received $18.9 million in compensation in 2014, slightly less than the year before. Executive vice president David Cohen, who is managing the merger-approval process in Washington, received compensation of $13.5 million -- slightly less than 2013.

In comparison, Discovery Communications Chief Executive David Zaslav was awarded a $156-million compensation package in 2014.  Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Bob Iger, who runs the largest entertainment company, was paid $46.5 million in 2014.

Twitter: @MegJamesLAT

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
75°