Tribune Media executives can expect a big payday should Sinclair’s proposed $3.9 billion merger with Tribune go through.
Journalist Robert Feder dug into a recent SEC filing from Sinclair. In addition to providing details about the prospective merger, the filing reveals that three Tribune executives are in line for lucrative exit packages.
Chandler Bigelow, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Tribune, stands to make $9,248,157 after the merger; Lawrence Wert, president of broadcast media for Tribune, is in line for $7,760,566; and Edward Lazarus, executive vice president, general counsel and chief strategy officer at Tribune, could make $9,681,435 after the merger.
In addition, Peter Kern, interim CEO at Tribune, could make $207,774 and Peter Liguori, former CEO at Tribune, could make $1,695,887 after the merger.
Sinclair is careful to point out that the amounts designated in the filing are subject to change. And before the payouts can occur, the deal, which has received blowback from legislators and groups like Free Press, National Hispanic Media Coalition and Common Cause, has to be approved.
While the D.C. Court of Appeals last month denied a motion to place a stay on the merger proceedings, Sinclair is still dealing with Senate Democrats who have requested a special hearing on the proposed merger.
Rebecca Hanson, vice president of strategy and policy for Sinclair, said the broadcaster is looking forward to showing policymakers the benefits the Tribune deal has in store for consumers and communities. But she also warned that the deal is necessary for broadcasters like Sinclair to keep pace with larger pay-TV operators.
"At a time of rapidly accelerating competition from the nation’s largest cable, satellite, wireless and internet companies, the combined Sinclair-Tribune will have the wherewithal to compete through innovation, including the roll out of ‘Next Gen’ television and enhanced investment in local news and original programming," Hanson said in a statement.