Only routine business is on the official agenda today as shareholders of Radio One hold their annual meeting at a Washington, DC hotel. CEO Alfred Liggins could, however, face some tough questions from shareholders who recently saw the company’s stock drop below a buck a share (it has since recovered a bit) while Liggins inked a new deal that gave him a bonus of $4.8 million because he was underpaid for the past three years, a $1 million signing bonus and a big raise. In an interview with the Washington Post, Liggins defended the pay package as putting him on parity with other broadcasting companies, mentioning Citadel and Cumulus by name. He also said that Radio One is starting a “second act,” as he focuses on a new programming strategy for TV One and making Radio One’s Internet ventures profitable.
RBR/TVBR observation: It is true that Liggins’ previous pay deal was below that of the CEOs of many other publicly traded broadcasting companies. That explains the increase going forward, but it still doesn’t explain why shareholders should give him a retroactive salary increase for work he’d already done under the terms of a contract he had freely agreed to.