OLD Media Moves

Oregonian workplace reporter seeks advice on exec comp story

January 31, 2006

Brent Hunsberger, who covers workplace issues at the Oregonion, has been asked by his editors to put together the newspaper’s first examination of executive compensation of public companies in the state. (It’s a long overdue story, he adds.)

But Brent wants some advice on how to do this from other business reporters. What papers do a good job of this, in your opinion? He knows some papers actually hire consultants to analyze executive pay for them. Do you think this is the only way to go, given compensation’s complexity? Have you seen other papers do the analysis using their own staff?

Brent has three basic pieces of information he’d like to know:

1. How does your paper do it: In-house or outsourced?

2. If outsourced, what is the cost?

3. What challenges have you encountered?

I’d also be interested in hearing about how total compensation is determined because I’ve seen it done in so many different ways. Do you include stock options? What about restricted stock? Other compensation such as benefits like country club memberships and car allowances?

My last experience in writing this story was in September 2004, when I wrote the annual North Carolina CEO compensation story for Business North Carolina. The magazine hired the Charlotte office of Findley Davies Inc., a Toledo, Ohio-based human-resources consultant. The study calculated CEO pay using salary, bonus, estimated value of stock options granted, restricted-stock awards, long-term incentive payouts and all other compensation

You can post your answers here on the Talking Biz News blog, or if you don’t want to share that information, you can reply directly to Brent at brenthunsberger@news.oregonian.com. He promises to keep your newspaper’s information confidential if you don’t want it shared.

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