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And the winners are…

Winners of the Pulitzer Prizes will be announced later today at Columbia University. Because this is journalism’s top award, and because the last 2 major publicly traded newspaper companies filed their proxies on Friday, it seemed like as good a time as any to take a look at executive compensation in the newspaper industry. And the winners are: Tribune Co (TRB) , which between base salary and bonus, paid its top five executives $7.52 million last year, more than the top 5 executives at any of the other 9 publicly traded newspaper companies. Gannett Co. (GCI) , whose top 5 execs received $7.49 million last year in base salary and bonus, was a close second, with CEO Douglas McCorkindale receiving more than half of that amount, or $3.85 million in salary and bonus, the same amount he received in 2002. (Note: this does not include stock options, restricted stock, long term incentives and other forms of compensation). On the opposite end of the pay scale are the top five execs at the Washington Post Co. (WPO) , who took home $2.7 million in salary and bonuses last year, making them the lowest paid of their peers. CEO Donald Graham made just $400,000 last year in salary and received no bonus, unchanged from 2002.