Discovery Communications had a great
year in 2010 and so did its CEO David Zaslav, reaping $42.6 million in total
compensation, nearly four times what he took home the previous year, according
to a proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday.
Zaslav received $2 million in base
salary, $20.3 million in stock awards, $15.4 million in option awards and $4.4
million in non-equity compensation. In contrast, Zaslav received $11.7 million
in total compensation in 2009.
The Discovery chief signed a new
employment deal early in 2010 that expires in 2015 and which increases his base
salary to $3 million in 2011 and creates incentives that could reap the
programming executive more than $55 million over the life of the contract.
Discovery had another strong year in
2010 - revenue was up 9% and its stock price rose 36% to $41.70 from $30.67.
The performance built on gains in 2009 - revenue grew 2% during the height of
the recession and the stock price doubled to $30.67 from $14.16.
While Zaslav had a big payday in
2010, not all of Discovery's top executives saw pay increases in 2010.
According to the proxy, chief financial officer Brad Singer, co-founder John
Hendricks and Discovery Networks International CEO Mark Hollinger saw decreases
in their total compensation in 2010.