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They may dispute each other's rankings, but when it comes to executive compensation, ABS-CBN is definitely way, way ahead of competing GMA Network.
ABS-CBN reported Thursday that it paid chief executive and child of owner Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III and its four highest officers nearly P233.4 million last year, which works out to an average of P46.6 million each.
Lopez's charmed circle includes president Ma. Rosario Santos-Concio, Roldeo Theodore Endrinal, Rolando Valdueza and Ma. Socorro Vidanes.
In contrast, GMA chairman and chief executive Felipe Gozon paid himself and his co-owner, president Gilberto Duavit Jr. as well as Felipe Yalong, Marissa Flores and Wilma Galvante a little over P134 million, or about P23.36 million each.
The combined compensation still includes the last paycheck of broadcaster Miguel Enriquez, who retired from GMA in September 2011 as senior vice president for radio operations.
The wide disparity between the two networks may be explained by ABS-CBN posting a net income of P2.42 billion last year, compared to GMA's P1.7 billion.
Still, the compensation gulf may not be that wide, given GMA's profit-sharing clause for its board and executive committee that has been cast in stone within the network's charter.
According to that provision, both Gozon and Duavit are also entitled as directors to one percent of the year's net income "to be distributed share and share alike" among GMA's nine board members.
Over and above that, the GMA chief executive and the president are also entitled to another 1.5 percent of the net income as extra compensation for the network's executive committee.
That 2.5 percent works out to over P42.8 million for all. Do the rest of the math.
Ayala kickstarts racing bonus
Philippine Racing Club president and chief executive Solomon Cua is asking shareholders to approve the grant of a P23.2-million bonus for himself and the board of directors led by his 90-year-old chairman and father, as well as to unspecified members of the "management staff."
The 2011 windfall is being proposed despite the racetrack operator's gross revenues of P3.98 billion suffering a "slight decrease" from 2010, the management admitted.
Popularly known as the operator of the Santa Ana racetrack that has since transferred to Naic, Cavite, Philippine Racing also suffered a P33.9-million loss in 2010 on top of being in the red for P42.6 million the year before.
The good news is that the racetrack operator managed to book a P228- million profit for 2011, thanks to the Zobels, who sent a timely check of P554.5 million, from which the bonuses will come.
The Zobel windfall represents Ayala Land's payment for 2.96 hectares for a commercial-residential complex that it is carving out of the 21.21-hectare former racetrack.
• The Carlos "Botong" Francisco painting, Nose Flute, went under the hammer for a record $648,000 (about P27.9 million), during last weekend's auction held by Larasati in Hong Kong.
Larasati representative Lisa Nakpil said the Saturday night sale, which went to an unidentified Indonesian bidder, eclipsed the $200,000-plus fetched in the last known Botong auction held in 2005 by the more established Christie's.
• The leading partners of The Firm, who are being publicly accused by embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona as among his hidden tormentors, are luxuriating in Paris, the tailend of a month-long grand tour of Europe on the occasion of the law firm's 40th anniversary.
Heard through the grapevine
The trendsetting Adora department store in Greenbelt 5 may be the next Tantoco-related enterprise that would take in a joint venture partner.
Adora has yet to show profit since it opened in 2008.