Poor David Gyngell. Last year, he made $19.59 million, boosted by just on $10 million of shares and other benefits (including a big fat cash bonus) as part of the float arrangements. This year, he’s down to $4.48 million — a flat $2 million a year and other short and long-term incentive payments. The $19.5 million made him the highest paid Australian CEO for the 2014 financial year, but this year it’s around the middle of the pack (though he’s still getting over $80,000 a week, or well over $11,000 a day).
This morning Nine joined rivals Seven West Media, Ten and Southern Cross in writing down the value of its TV licences and goodwill. Nine’s totalled $847 million all told in impairments and other charges (offset by a tiny profit on the sale of a small business). In that, there was a very small, but very intriguing write-down — $25 million against the value of Nine’s 33% stake in Australian News Channel, which owns Sky News, the dominant pay TV news channel on Foxtel. Nine said the write-down was necessary because there was no certainty the carriage agreement the channel has with Foxtel will be agreed to by the end of 2017. That’s because News Corp wants to buy Australian News Channel and has threatened to start a rival channel if there is no deal. News also owns 50% of Foxtel and controls the management. The write-down should lead News to announce a successful offer for Australian News Channel in the not-too-distant future.