Gannett Shareholders Re-Elect Board, Support Executive Pay


Not only did Gannett shareholders re-elect its board, ratify its public accountants, and approve a say-on-pay measure at the media conglomerate's annual meeting yesterday, but the board of directors also declared the company's second-quarter dividend of $0.20 per share, the same rate it's paid for the past five quarters.

All nine directors standing for election received at least 96.6% of the votes cast, allowing them to serve for an additional one-year term that will end at Gannett's next annual shareholders meeting. Ernst & Young was ratified as the company's independent accounting firm.

Investors also overwhelming approved, with 92.97% of the ballots cast, an advisory resolution supporting the compensation of the company's named executive officers. The so-called say-on-pay measure is non-binding on management.

Shareholders defeated a proposal by the Teamsters union to try and change management compensation in the event of a change in control of the company. The union had sought to prohibit the acceleration in the vesting of options awarded to executives should Gannett be sold.

The new dividend payout annualizes to $0.80 per share and yields 3.9% based on the closing price of Gannett's stock on May 7.

Gannett CEO Gracia C. Martore said: "We are confident we have set the right course for Gannett as we move forward with our multi-year strategy, taking every opportunity to expand and evolve the ways we engage with our audiences. This dividend reflects our commitment to share the results of our strong performance with our shareholders."

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