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Life underwater…

fish.jpegLate Friday, as footnoted.org regulars know, is when the most interesting stuff is usually filed at the SEC. And two media giants — Viacom (VIA) and Yahoo (YHOO) both dumped hefty severance agreements with former top executives late Friday. Viacom, whose filing disclosing outgoing CFO Michael Dolan’s $9.8 million deal (plus a $5 million life insurance policy that Viacom will continue to pay for through 2009) beat Yahoo by about 40 minutes on Friday afternoon. Not included in that figure is the value of 257,000 stock options, almost half of which are underwater. The agreement notes that the options will "remain exercisable until the expiration date", which it says is on a separate schedule, but the company failed to include that schedule in the filing, so it’s hard to say how much those options could potentially be worth. But remember that Dolan only took the CFO job in May 2005 and given his tenure, it’s not a bad chunk of change.

Moving on to Yahoo’s Friday night agreement, outgoing COO Daniel Rosensweig will continue to collect his salary for the rest of 2007, plus collect a $900K bonus for 2006. But the far larger chunk of change comes from the options, including 825,000 options that are currently underwater. To help deal with that, the company is giving Rosensweig three additional years to exercise the options. Oddly enough, there was no news of this agreeement on Yahoo’s list of headlines on Yahoo Finance.