Comcast’s Roberts and Burke each get $31 million in 2013 compensation

Cable and entertainment giant Comcast Corp. likes to keep things on an even keel.

Comcast Chief Executive Brian L. Roberts received a compensation package valued at $31.4 million last year, up 8% from 2012, according to a company filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Meanwhile, Steve Burke, one of Roberts’ chief lieutenants and chief executive of NBCUniversal, received $31.1 million in compensation in 2013 -- just below that of his boss.

Burke’s compensation represented an 18% jump over his 2012 pay package of $26.3 million. Last summer Burke negotiated a new five-year employment contract with Comcast, a pact intended to keep him in charge of the media company through mid-2018.

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Comcast, which bought a majority stake in NBCUniversal in 2011, acquired General Electric Co.'s remaining 49% for $16.7 billion in March 2013. The company now owns 100% of NBCUniversal, which includes such television networks as NBC, USA, Bravo, Syfy, CNBC and MSNBC, as well as the Universal Pictures movie studio and Universal Studios theme parks.

For Comcast, 2014 is shaping up to be another busy year.

In February the company negotiated a $45-billion deal to acquire Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second-largest cable operator. However, since the deal was announced, Comcast’s stock has fallen about 10%, placing the value of the proposed stock transaction closer to $40 billion.

This week, Comcast initiated the regulatory review process for the proposed Time Warner Cable purchase, which would give Comcast more than 30 million cable TV subscribers. Comcast already is the nation’s largest provider of high-speed Internet service. With the transaction, it would serve 40% of the homes in the U.S. with broadband Internet connections.

Last year, Comcast revenue grew more than 3% to $64.7 billion, with the cable TV, high-speed Internet and phone service producing nearly $42 billion of that.

Adjusted revenue climbed 6%.

Michael Angelakis, the company’s chief financial officer, was awarded a $19.2-million compensation package. That was down 17% from the previous year, when he extended his employment contract and received a signing bonus.

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Neil Smit, the chief executive of Comcast Cable, received compensation valued at $17.4 million, a slight drop from the previous year. Smit also extended his contract in 2012.

In the fourth quarter of last year, Smit’s unit saw a reversal of the trend of cable TV customers dropping its video service. Instead, the Comcast picked up a net 43,000 cable customers -- the first time in nearly seven years that it added more subscribers than it lost.

David Cohen, the company’s executive vice president and the man in charge of guiding the Time Warner Cable deal through the regulatory process, was paid nearly $14 million last year. Like Angelakis and Smit, Cohen received a signing bonus in 2012, so his pay last year was slightly less than the year before.

Comcast calculates compensation for its top executives based on the company’s performance and the business units that the executives oversee.

The company’s stock rose nearly 42% last year; for comparison, the S&P 500 index climbed 29%. Comcast shares sank 46 cents Friday to $47.96 a share.


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