Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's All The Unions' Fault! Part II - The MJS Edition

As part of an ongoing series, let's take another look at the anti-union hypocrisy.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been backing Scott Walker's assault on the working class since day one.  They are constantly parroting the false meme that "we all have to share in the pain" and call for public sector workers to basically pay twice for their benefits.  The other subsidiaries of Journal Communications have suffered similar fates.

Indeed, one could even say that MJS has led by example by laying off or forcing out many of its staff, including key reporters, columnists and editorial staff (but keeping the calumnist) and forcing the remaining staff to take considerable pay cuts.  (As one might expect, there has been a significant drop in quality of their product because of their choice, but that is another subject altogether.)

But not everyone at the daily paper has been sharing the pain. Not by a long shot.
Steven Smith, CEO and president of Journal Communications isn't quite sharing, either in the pain or in the ill-gotten loot he has amassed:

Steven J. Smith, the chairman, chief executive and president of Journal Communications Inc., received total compensation of more than $2 million last year, according to a regulatory document filed Thursday.

Smith received a salary of $752,000, bonus of $97,760, stock awards valued at $452,500, non-equity incentive plan compensation of $391,040, change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings of $312,211 and other compensation of $13,442 for a total of $2,018,953, the company's proxy statement shows.

That's up 39.7% from 2009, when Smith made $1,445,492. The biggest increase in overall pay for Smith came in the non-equity incentive plan compensation category, which was zero in 2009.
It should be noted that Smith is good buds with Scott Walker and was very supportive of first his campaign and now his attempts to tear the state apart and selling it off to the lowest bidder.

Just why should we listen to a hypocrite like Smith? And is it November yet?


  1. I think you mean to the highest bidder, not lowest.

  2. Nope lowest. He doesn't want to upset his donors.

  3. From the JS link, in the comments, from "Porch" - Mar 17, 2011 6:29 PM

    ".....Better way to look at this, profits were up by $30 million in 2010. And the CEO took home an extra $570,000 in compensation. That is 2% of the profit boost for 2010, maybe reasonable. Or looking at it another way, the CEO's total compensation of $2,000,000 is equal to about 6% of the total profits for the entire organization.

    Roll that number into the salaries and bennies of a few of the other VP's and you're looking at about 10-15% of profits going to 5 people. Not sure how many employees Journal has, but considering the salary reductions I've heard about in the organization I'm not thrilled to read this news."

    End of Porch's comment.

    As other JS commenters made clear, in addition to lay-offs and slashing salaries, "profits" came from the sale of assets. That's one-time and should have been re-invested into revenue generating functions, such as the news room. Allowing the CEO to skim the cream only weakens the net value JS Communications.