Mar 10, 2011

Boston Herald reports on WGBH salaries; 14 employees make more than $200,000

"More than a dozen WGBH honchos at PBS’ taxpayer-subsidized flagship station are raking in upwards of $200,000 a year while toiling in the lap of a luxurious $85 million multimedia palace dubbed the 'Taj Mahal' that boasts a 200-seat amphitheater, state-of-the-art recording studio and Hamburg-Steinway grand piano," reports the Boston Herald in a story today (March 10) about the pubcasting powerhouse's finances.

Update:: Abbott responded in a letter to the newspaper.

The Herald's review of the latest IRS records (2009) for the station, which then employed around 950, found that four vice presidents and producers pulled in more than $300,000 in compensation; 10 employees took home more than $200,000; 145 earned more than $100,000; ex-WGBH president Henry Becton Jr., the station’s vice chairman, made $160,873 for working 24 hours a week; and "top brass," as the paper called execs, "pocketed more than $200,000 in bonuses."

Jon Abbott, WGBH c.e.o., told the paper he hasn’t had a raise since taking over in 2007, and that the station must compete for talent with leading media companies. “We also benchmark all of those salaries to comparable salaries at media and nonprofit organizations in this area and nationally,” Abbott said. “If you look at my compensation relative to . . . my peers in Boston or in this country, I am . . . paid a fair wage.” He also noted that no taxpayer dollars were used to build the station's headquarters.

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