Sinclair Executive Chairman David Smith saw his total compensation for 2017 jump to about $6.6 million, according to the company’s new proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Smith’s total compensation of $6,638,369 represents a significant bump from the $5,206,439 he brought home in 2016. His raise consisted of an increase in his salary—from about $1 million in 2016 to $1.25 million in 2017—and an increase in option awards, up from $4 million in 2016 to about $5.2 million in 2017.
As Smith’s compensation went up, Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley’s pay went down slightly. Ripley’s total compensation for 2017 was about $1.8 million, down from $1.9 million in 2016. Although Ripley’s pay increased from $782,225 in 2016 to $1.25 million in 2017, he earned a smaller bonus and did not get any option awards after claiming nearly $490,000 in 2016.
Sinclair executives including Vice Chairman David Amy and Chief Financial Officer Lucy Rutishauser both saw their total compensation packages increase in 2017. But Barry Faber, executive vice president and general counsel for Sinclair, saw a dramatic decrease (from about $4.5 million in 2016 to nearly $2.3 million in 2017) due to his annual bonus falling from $3 million in 2016 to $100,000 in 2017.
The new details about executive compensation are being released as Sinclair continues to pursue regulatory approval for its proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media.
This week Sinclair disclosed plans to sell off 23 Sinclair and Tribune television stations to hopefully gain the OK of the FCC and the Justice Department, which are undergoing a public interest and antitrust review of the deal.
Among the station deals Sinclair announced was a previously announced plan to sell WGN in Chicago to newly formed company WGN-TV for $60. In addition, Standard Media—which is run by investment firm Standard General—is buying nine stations for $442 million and Meredith is buying one station for $65 million.