Discovery’s David Zaslav awarded $42.6 million in compensation in 2010


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David Zaslav, chief executive of the Maryland-based Discovery Communications Inc., was awarded a compensation package valued at $42.6 million in 2010 -- more than triple his compensation for the previous year.

That’s a lot of TLC.

Discovery owns such channels as Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Planet Green, Discovery Fit and Health as well as 50% of the Oprah Winfrey Network. Zaslav, a former high-level NBCUniversal executive, took the helm at Discovery in January 2007, a year before the company went public. Its shares have increased by nearly 20% this year, closing Monday at $40.48.


Zaslav was paid $2 million in salary. He received stock awards of $20.3 million and options that are currently valued at $15.4 million. The company also provided $4.4 million in non-equity incentives, plus other compensation, including travel and security expenses. Zaslav’s total compensation for 2009 was $11.7 million.

The information was contained in a filing Monday to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Discovery’s founder and chairman, John S. Hendricks, accepted a package valued at $9.5 million for 2010 -- a substantial reduction from his $17.3-million package, boosted by stock options, during the previous year.

Mark G. Hollinger, chief executive of Discovery Networks International, received $5.6 million in 2010, and Peter Liguori, the company’s chief operating officer, collected $4.9 million in salary, bonus, stock and options. Chief Financial Officer Bradley E. Singer’s compensation was valued at $4 million.

-- Meg James