Sunday, November 09, 2008

Why Indeed

I have long been a supporter of public radio, by contributing and listening to Philly's local public radio station, WHYY. For many years, it was the only station on my dial (except when the daughter was also in the car). However, among the various causes to which I contribute annually, WHYY is no longer on my list of charitable donations, since it is obvious that they don't need my money.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on the exceedingly generous salary and benefits provided to William Mazzazzo, the head of WHYY, Pay package awarded to WHYY chief questioned, noting:

WHYY is a relatively low-profile station in the world of public broadcasting.

It doesn't produce flashy, syndicated television shows like Frontline, from Boston's WGBH, or Nature, from New York's WNET.

Among public stations in the top-10 markets, it is in the middle of the pack for budget and staff.

WHYY is tops in one category - how much it rewards its chief executive.

President and CEO William J. Marrazzo's potential pay, benefits and expenses totaled $740,090 in the year ending June 30, 2007, according to its most recent tax filing. The package consists of $415,993 in salary, $317,240 in benefits and $6,857 in expenses.

* * * *

As a public station, WHYY received nearly $4 million in tax dollars in 2007. It spent $2.63 out of every $100 in expenditures on its CEO - more than any other public station in the largest markets.

Ever since I discovered several years ago the outlandish compensation paid to the CEO of WHYY, they've been off my list. And I know that I'm not alone in that. In fact, it would be interesting to discover the real cost of Marrazzo's compensation -- when factoring in the lost donations. No doubt, it would be substantially higher.

And, I have also started listening to other programs (we subscribe to XM radio), so my listening habits have been impacted as well. But hey, they can get along without me just fine.

1 comment:

QuakerDave said...

Yup. I read this and I was appalled.

WXPN will get my money in the spring.

And when I get those annoying calls asking me to re-up, I will remind them of that article.