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Rewarded for what?

Paxson Communications (PAX) founder and CEO Lowell “Bud” Paxson might have retired yesterday as part of a deal with GE’s (GE) NBC Universal. But he’s not exactly heading off to Tahiti, or even Naples.

That’s because buried in one of the exhibits to the 8-K filed yesterday were the details of the agreement between Paxson the company and a separate company called Paxson Management, which is owned by Paxson the individual. Under the agreement, Paxson Management will collect $968,000 in management fees — fees that will increase by 10% starting Jan. 1 and will continue to flow until the group of 60 television stations are sold. The reasoning, according to the filing, is to enable Paxson (the man) to hold on to the FCC licenses. In addition to the management fee, Bud Paxson will also continue to have access to the corporate jet for his business and personal use. And while the $968K is a fee to the company, it represents a hefty raise over the $880K Bud Paxson made last year. Also interesting: the last time there was any mention of Paxson Management Co. was in a 10-K filed back in 1997.

But Paxson isn’t the only one smiling this morning. Dean Goodman, who made $523K last year at Paxson, will see his salary increase to $800K and is guaranteed a bonus of at least $800K. In addition, he also received a $1.5 million signing bonus and 333,333 shares of restricted stock. Given the stock’s performance over the long-term, and the fact that it’s currently trading at around $1, it’s not really clear what either executive is being rewarded for.