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Radio-days…

A quick skim of Radio One’s (ROIA) recent Q seems pretty boring, until you get to the part about enormous retention bonuses promised to two of the companies top execs. Buried in footnotes under contractual obligations is the fact that the Chief Administrative Officer will get a $2 million bonus for staying with the company through October 2008. But CFO Scott Royster stands to do even better: he’ll get $7 million for staying at the company through October 2010. Both of these retention bonuses were negotiated under new employment contracts.

But given that the two executives each made $394K last year in base salary, and that the executives can receive a pro-rata portion of the bonus even if they wind up leaving earlier, isn’t this really a salary in disguise? In Royster’s case, for example, the $7 million is pro-rated for each day he works past Oct. 18, 2005, which works out to roughly $5,600 a day, or more than three times his daily salary, just for sticking around.