Nexstar Media CEO Perry Sook’s 2017 total compensation shot up to $19.3 million, up from about $1.5 million in 2016, thanks to a large bonus and stock awards.
Sook’s base salary remained at $1.5 million but he took home $8.8 million in stock awards and a $9 million bonus last year.
Other Nexstar Media executives also saw their total compensation packages increase in 2017 thanks to bonuses and stock awards. CFO Thomas Carter’s compensation went from about $600,000 in 2016 to $6.2 million in 2017. Timothy Busch, president of Nexstar Broadcasting, saw his total compensation increase to about $4 million in 2017, up from $1.2 million in 2016. Brian Jones, executive vice president and chief operating officer, took home a total compensation package worth $2.2 million, up from about $800,000 in 2016.
A large portion of the bonuses awarded to Sook and Carter stemmed from the 2017 completion of Nexstar’s Media General acquisition. Sook was awarded $7.5 million and Carter was awarded $2 million as special completion bonuses. A significant portion of the stock awards vested in 2017 also stemmed from the closure of the Media General deal.
The significant increases in total compensation for Nexstar Media executives comes as the company closed out its fiscal 2017 on a high note with revenues up more than 111%.
Nexstar saw its core television ad revenue increase 151.6% and retransmission fee revenue and digital media revenue rose 152.5% and 148.3%, respectively. Operating income grew 52.3%, adjusted EBITDA grew 67.4% and free cash flow grew 81.7%.
Core advertising totaled $347,426,000; retrans revenue totaled $253,279,000; digital revenue totaled $63,924,000 and net revenue totaled $653,664,000. In all, the company said those numbers helped drive operating income hit $140.8 million and adjusted EBITDA reach $225.7 million.