Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. pay package shrinks 40%

Associated Press

Rupert Murdoch, the chairman, chief executive and controlling shareholder of News Corp., saw his compensation drop 40% in fiscal 2009 as weak earnings reduced his incentive pay, according to a review of regulatory filings.

Murdoch, 78, was awarded a compensation package valued at $18 million, down from $30 million a year ago, according to the review of News Corp.'s proxy filed Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

His base salary of $8.1 million was unchanged, but his performance-based incentive pay fell 69% to $5.4 million from $17.5 million a year ago.

News Corp. owns the Wall Street Journal, Fox television network, 20th Century Fox movie studio, social networking website MySpace, Sky Italia and newspapers in Britain and Australia.

The New York-based media company awards incentive pay based on the change in adjusted earnings per share, and it determined that measure grew 0.87% in fiscal 2009 from a year ago, entitling Murdoch to an incentive bonus of $5 million to $10 million. The company ended up approving an amount on the low end of that range.

Murdoch's stock option and restricted stock grants were unchanged at $4 million and all other compensation, for items such as personal use of company aircraft and a car allowance, fell 6% to $380,000.

Over the fiscal year, which ended June 30, non-voting Class A shares fell 39% to $9.11 from $15.04 a year earlier.

Murdoch controls nearly 40% of the voting Class B shares of the company, mostly through a family trust.

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