Stockholders Reject Proposed Perry Sook's Pay Raise


The average pay of a Nexstar employee is about $48,000 a year.

In 2017, Nexstar CEO Perry Sook made $19.3 million bucks, or just a bit more than the average employee at Nexstar. In 2018, Sook made a paltry $14.6 million, or 302 times as much as the company’s median employee salary.

This year the company is looking to hand Uncle Perry $41.4 million in future stock awards and the shareholders think that is a bit too much.

For the second straight year, shareholders have rejected a multimillion-dollar pay package for Perry.

“If [shareholders] vote against it, they’ve got serious reservations,” said Ken Bertsch, executive director of the Council of Institutional Investors, a nonprofit that promotes the interests of institutional investors.

The huge pay package has warranted a negative vote from shareholders, but it might not matter.

Just because the shareholders don’t like the idea of Sook being paid millions and millions of dollars, their vote is nonbinding, meaning it has no tangible effect on Sook’s compensation. But Sook said the board of directors, which he chairs, will take it under advisement.

Shareholder rejection of executive pay is rare. Just over 2% of pay proposals have failed this year through June 6, according to a report from Semler Bossy, an executive compensation consulting group.

That means Sook is in rare air when it comes to shareholders saying the boos is being paid too much.

Sook’s high pay relative to peers and the “questionable design of certain awards” warranted voting against this year’s package, according to an institutional shareholder report by Glass Lewis, an institutional investing research company.

Nexstar’s top Shareholders also singled out the absence of a lead independent director for the company and flawed disclosure of executive performance metrics.

The Nexstar board could have done more to assuage investors’ concerns, said Suresh Radhakrishnan, a professor of accounting and corporate governance at the University of Texas at Dallas.

“Their explanations are very, very weak as to what they have done in response,” Radhakrishnan said.

H/T Dallas News