News Corp. split could boost Murdoch compensation

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Rupert Murdoch's compensation package could rise by as much as 15 percent after his media empire splits into two separate companies.

Regulatory documents filed Friday revealed that Murdoch could be awarded total compensation valued at $28.3 million during the first year after the breakup of News Corp. That's up from a package valued at $24.6 million during the current fiscal year ending in June. The difference reflects additional stock awards that Murdoch could receive next year. The full amounts in either year won't be paid to Murdoch unless the companies hit certain financial targets.

Murdoch, already one of the world's wealthiest men with a fortune estimated by Forbes at $11 billion, will be juggling two different roles once the current operations of News Corp. are disassembled.

The company that will retain the News Corp. name will own book publishers and newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal. Another company called 21st Century Fox will focus on entertainment, anchored by a movie studio and the Fox television network.

After the split, which is expected to be completed this summer, Murdoch, 82, will be chairman of both companies and CEO of 21st Century Fox. Both companies will be under Murdoch's control through a family trust that owns nearly 40 percent of a special stock that wields extra voting power.

Under a new compensation plan covering the fiscal year ending in June 2014, most of Murdoch's compensation will be tied to 21st Century Fox.

As CEO of 21st Century Fox, Murdoch will be paid a base salary of $7.1 million and will be eligible for a bonus of up to $10.5 million and stock awards of as much as $5.7 million, for a total of $23.3 million, according to the regulatory filing. As News Corp.'s chairman following the split, Murdoch will be paid a $1 million salary and could receive another $2 million in bonuses and $2 million in stock awards, for a total of $5 million.

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