Odds are News Corp. President Chernin won't be leaving; he waited to sign his most recent contract until the last one had actually expired. But the buzz remains that he's thinking of bolting, and the timing couldn't be worse for News Corp. The parent of Fox Broadcasting and The Wall Street Journal recently reported a massive $7.6 billion second-quarter loss, much of it related to writing down the declining value of its TV stations and newspapers. And at $6.78 a share, News Corp.'s stock is trading near a 10-year low.
A Deluxe Package of Goodies
News Corp. is mum on Chernin's plans, but the 57-year-old executive wouldn't be hurting much if he decides to walk away, judging from the retirement benefits package in his contract. For starters, Chernin, who earned $28.8 million last year in salary, stock, and other awards, sits on top of a pile of money. He's got nearly $27 million in deferred compensation, along with another $11 million in various pension funds, going back to when he ran the Fox film studio and TV network before moving up to the presidency, according to News Corp's proxy filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.