Debut extends contracts for HQ staff


Debut Broadcasting, the smallest publicly traded radio company, has signed contract extensions with three of its top executives. As you would expect, we’re not talking about multi-million-bucks compensation packages.

CEO Ronald Heineman signed a new five-year contract retroactive to January 1st which starts with an annual base salary of $125K and goes to $150K in the third-through-fifth years. He will also be eligible for a performance bonus at the discretion of the board of directors. Heineman is also being granted 100,000 stock options each year, with the exercise price set each year based on the trading price. Debut’s stock has lately been selling for about five cents per share.

For COO Robert Marquitz, his base salary terms are identical to the CEO for the next five years and he is also eligible for a performance bonus at the discretion of the board of directors. Likewise, he gets 100,000 stock options annually.

Sariah Hopkins is CFO and her base salary is identical to the other two – $125K now and $150K in the outer three years. Her bonus, however, is set at $4,000 quarterly when she completes the filing of the company’s 10-Q or 10-K report to the SEC. The CFO also gets 100,000 stock options each year.

RBR-TVBR observation: What’s really unusual is that the CEO isn’t raking in compensation that’s a multiple of the other top managers. That’s the case with most public companies, although Debut is certainly nowhere near the size of the mega-media giants. One notable exception is News Corporation, where Rupert Murdoch has long compensated his #2 above his own pay level. And we remember that Jerry Perenchio never even took a salary when he headed Univision, preferring to enhance his own substantial fortune by increasing the stock value.