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New Charter CEO's Base Salary: $2M

Jeff Baumgartner
12/20/2011

Here's a glance at what's turning cable's crank today.

  • Incoming Charter Communications Inc. CEO and President Tom Rutledge will make a base salary of $2 million per year, and be eligible for an annual bonus worth up to $1.75 million more, under a four-year term set to expire Feb. 13, 2016, according to an 8-K filed Monday by the MSO. The employment agreement also has him getting 1,258,500 shares of common stock in the form of 646,800 stock options and 611,700 shares of restricted stock. ISI Group Inc. Senior Managing Director Vijay Jayant noted Tuesday that Rutledge earned about $30 million last year with Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC). Jayant's slapped a "Buy" rating on Charter's stock, which rose more than 3 percent in after-hours trading Monday. (See Ex-Cablevision COO Becomes Charter CEO.)

  • BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield downgraded Cablevision from "Buy" to "Neutral" and removed his price target on the stock due to uncertainty about the MSO and who will be running operations after COO Tom Rutledge bolted late last week. Greenfield urged Cablevision President and CEO Jim Dolan to "fess up" about why COO Rutledge left and clear up speculation that it stemmed from disagreements that occurred between the execs. "We believe something really bad transpired between Jim Dolan and Tom Rutledge in recent weeks," he wrote. (See What's Next for Cablevision? )

  • Cablevision and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) settled a dispute in which the MSO accused the telco of running ads that misrepresented Cablevision's broadband speeds, reports Bloomberg. (See Cablevision Sues Verizon about Internet Ads.)

  • This Technology LLC is developing plug-ins so its open-source SpotLink software can connect with FreeWheel Media Inc.'s Monetization Rights Management platform, which is typically used by programmers to splice ads into Web videos. Spotlink will serve as a bridge so programmers that already use FreeWheel's MRM can insert their ads into cable-based video services, starting with MSO-run video-on-demand and network DVR applications. Support for cable TV Everywhere and IP-based video services will come into play later, the company said. The hookup spawns from This Tech's work to connect cable's dynamic ad insertion (DAI) systems to broadband ad servers that use the Interactive Advertising Bureau's Video Advertising Serving Template standard. This Tech expects major programmers and MSOs to start initial deployments in early 2012. (See Startup Seeks Open-Source VoD Ad-Vantage.)

  • The SpectrumCo MSOs -- Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) and Bright House Networks -- have asked the FCC to transfer their 122 Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum licenses to Verizon Wireless under the sale announced earlier this month, reports Broadcasting & Cable. Cox Communications Inc. , a former SpectrumCo partner, inked a separate deal to sell its AWS capacity to the mobile carrier late last week. (See MSOs Sell AWS Spectrum to Verizon for $3.6B and VZ Wireless Nabs Cox's AWS Spectrum for $315M .)

  • Optimum Lightpath , the big business service arm of Cablevision, said it has connected more than 5,000 buildings to its Ethernet network, which now spans more than 4,700 fiber route miles.

  • Comcast Cable will bring out three big guns -- President and CEO Neil Smit; and SVPs Tony Werner and John Schanz -- to serve as guest presenters at the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) -Tuck Executive Leadership Program at Dartmouth College, set for April 29 through May 4, 2012. SCTE has set an application deadline of Feb. 15, 2012.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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    Jeff Baumgartner
    Jeff Baumgartner
    12/5/2012 | 4:45:57 PM
    re: New Charter CEO's Base Salary: $2M


    Dunno... does $2M/year seem too steep for a guy of Rutledge's caliber? Might be worth it if he can get Charter turned around.  Still, i wonder if he's there to get them going for the long-haul or to get them in a great place and then try to sell it. I'd like to see where Charter (and its stock is) a year from now before I pass judgement. JB

    comtech3
    comtech3
    12/5/2012 | 4:45:57 PM
    re: New Charter CEO's Base Salary: $2M


    Have they not learned anyhting from just coming out of bankrupcy!

    comtech3
    comtech3
    12/5/2012 | 4:45:56 PM
    re: New Charter CEO's Base Salary: $2M


    You may have a point there,and we have to give him credit for a number of innovations he brought to the table while at Cablevision, the most notable was the abandoning of local VOD  on set-top box in favor of centralized cloud-based storage.That was a remarkable achievement by him that companies like Comcast should emulate instead of pushing their problematic any room DVR. I guess with full support from Paul Allen, he may put Charter back on the road to profitability.

    Cooper10
    Cooper10
    12/5/2012 | 4:45:51 PM
    re: New Charter CEO's Base Salary: $2M


    Would tend to agree that the more likely path is to eventually position Charter for a sale.  The bulk of the compensation is in equity, not salary - $32M in options and restricted stock that all vest upon change in control, and there is also a separate performance based stock grant totalling ~750K shares dependent on Charter stock hitting prescribed price points - all in, if Charter stock does decently over the next 2 to 3 years and gets acquired at a premium, Rutledge is likely walking away with north of $50M.

    AESerm
    AESerm
    12/5/2012 | 4:45:50 PM
    re: New Charter CEO's Base Salary: $2M


    Just a a note to comtech3 about Paul Allen: Last I heard his shares amounted to only 2 percent of the company's total, and those had shifted from special to common share status. He lots bucket of $ on this company. Not sure he's a factor any more.

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