Media Companies Need a Sixty-Minutes Type Investigation on Their Compensation & Retirement Plan Practices, Claims Author

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NH author discusses the immense disparity between highly paid media executives compensation and retirement packages and that of its rank and file employees.

The Pirates of Manhattan II: Highway to Serfdom, The Hijacking of America’s Savings Plans

high-end media executives get very lucrative deals in stock and cash compensation, which is in reality, irrevocable.

Barry James Dyke, in his sequel The Pirates of Manhattan II: Highway to Serfdom unveils the immense disparity between highly paid media executives compensation and retirement packages and that of its rank and file employees.

The author documents that executives at media companies CBS, Disney and News Corp continue to extract Olympian paydays with enormous payouts in cash and stock while rank and file employees often struggle with meager 401(k) plans funded with impossible-to-understand poor performing target-date mutual funds. [Target-date mutual funds are fund-of-fund mutual funds and explained in the new Pirates book].

The author comments, “high-end media executives get very lucrative deals in stock and cash compensation, which is in reality, irrevocable. The capital gains treatment of the stock based compensation is icing on the cake. According to SEC filings, Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS made $56.9 million in 2010, and ratcheted his pay package to $69.9 million for 2011. Sumner Redstone pulled out $20.3 million from CBS and an additional $21 million from Viacom while the performance of both companies has been lukewarm at-best.”

Conversely, CBS rank and file employees had a total of $199 million in target-date mutual funds in 2009 which has gone up to $236 million in their 401 (k) by 2010. The author, in his new book documents the enormous shortcomings of target-date mutual funds which are the cornerstone of American’s retirement savings. He calls target-date mutual funds, “robot casino capitalism on steroids.”

The author continues, “Yet CBS is not alone in this disconnect. Media executives get paid well even when their companies get crushed in the market, look at Gannet, McClatchy, Media General, The New York Times—they have all lost 75% or more of their value. They are also saddled with enormous amounts of debt.”

SEC filings confirm that CBS, Disney, The Tribune Company, Fox News, News Corp and The New York Times all have their employees invested in questionable target-date funds. The author’s concerns are reinforced in a January 2011 GAO report on target-date mutual funds.

The author concludes, “It is sad. Big media companies get banker like pay, and rank and file employees are thrown under the bus.” For more information, about The Pirates of Manhattan II: Highway to Serfdom go to http://www.thepiratesofmanhattan.com The book examines The Hijacking of America’s Savings through mutual funds in general and target-date funds in particular. You may contact Barry James Dyke, the author directly at 603-929-7891 or via email castleassetmgmt (at) comcast (dot) net

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