NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Magazine publisher Meredith Corp. gave its top executive a compensation package valued at $3.9 million for fiscal 2009, down slightly from the year before, according to an Associated Press calculation of figures disclosed in a regulatory filing. CEO Stephen M. Lacy earned a salary of $925,000, up 9 percent from 2008. He received $850,000 in incentive-based bonus pay, a 60 percent increase from $531,250 a year earlier. Beginning in the 2009 fiscal year, Meredith revised its incentive-based pay guidelines to "increased the emphasis on business unit objectives and performance," according to the company's filing. The new guidelines peg bonuses to specific financial targets such as earnings per share and cash flow. Meredith, which owns magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens as well as local TV stations, reported a loss of $107.1 million for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009, as the industrywide drop in advertising revenue took its toll. But the company pointed to improving ad revenue at its magazines in the second half of the fiscal year compared with the first. In the six months ended in June, ad revenue dropped 12 percent year-over-year, compared with an 18 percent drop in the first six months. Online ad revenue was up 7 percent after dropping 14 percent in the first half.
Lacy was also given about $51,700 in other perks, including contributions to a 401(k) plan, club membership dues and a car allowance, roughly the same amount as in fiscal 2008. The Des Moines, Iowa-based company awarded Lacy stock and options valued at roughly $2 million at the time they were granted, down 18 percent from $2.5 million the year before. The option awards, valued at $1.3 million at the time, carry an exercise price of $29.23. The company's stock closed Friday at $28.97, though shares have traded as high as $33.17 since Lacy was granted the options on Aug. 12, 2008. The Associated Press compensation formula is designed to isolate the value the company's board placed on the executive's total compensation package during the last fiscal year. It includes salary, bonus, performance-related bonuses, perks, above-market returns on deferred compensation and the estimated value of stock options and awards granted during the year. The calculations don't include changes in the present value of pension benefits, and they sometimes differ from the totals companies list in the summary compensation table of proxy statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which reflect the size of the accounting charge taken for the executive's compensation in the previous fiscal year.