Emmis exec pay slides with company’s performance-WEB ONLY

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Executives of Emmis Communications Corp. collectively earned 25 percent less in fiscal 2009 compared with the prior year, according to a filing sent to shareholders today notifying them of the company’s July 14 annual meeting.

The decrease in pay coincides with recent financial struggles plaguing the Indianapolis-based radio-broadcasting and magazine-publishing company.

Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan received compensation in the fiscal year that ended Feb. 28, 2009, of nearly $1.2 million, according to the formula used by The Associated Press and IBJ to calculate executive pay.

That was 14 percent less than the value of his package in fiscal 2008, even though he worked for a salary of only $1 that year. He still received a bonus and option grants that year.

Other top executives saw fiscal 2009 pay slip even more. Richard Cummings, radio division president; Gary Kaseff, vice president and general counsel; and Paul Fiddick, international division president, all earned at least a third less than they did the previous fiscal year.

But company directors, including Susan Bayh, wife of U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Indiana), together saw their compensation rise by 43 percent. Board members were paid entirely by stock-and-option awards in fiscal 2009 and received no cash, however.

Bayh, who serves as lead director for the board members unassociated with the company, earned $99,262 in stock and other options last year.

Emmis shares were trading at 33 cents this morning, much lower than their 52-week high of $3.17.

In fiscal 2009, the company lost $283.9 million, or $7.81 per share, compared with a loss of $10.3 million, or 74 cents per share, the previous year. Revenue fell to $333.9 million, down 7 percent from the year before.

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