PAYCHECK PEEKING

A Look at 110 Local Salaries.

More than two years has passed since we took our first peek at the paychecks of the city’s best known and best paid men and women. This year’s peeking, however, was much more fun because we were delighted to discover that the fortunes of our city’s bluebloods have increased dramatically since the 1974-75 recession. Take E-Systems chairman John Dixon. In 1976 Dixon’s remuneration totalled nearly $375,000, an 88 percent increase over 1974, although we should add that E-Systems’ fortunes have advanced just as rapidly as Dixon’s. To facilitate comparisons with our last paycheck peek, we’ve placed 1974 salaries next to the 1976 salaries.

This year we encountered much less trouble in obtaining salaries from such places as Parkland Hospital. While two years ago the hospital surrendered its salaries only after days of stalling, a board meeting, and threats of legal action from us, this year the gracious folks at Parkland gave us the figures inside of two hours.

For those readers who might like to do their own paycheck peeking, may we again caution you to read the footnotes in corporate proxy statements. Often the footnotes contain the most scintillating part of the paycheck – the corporate bonus. Although technically Dresser Industries chairman John James’ 1976 salary is $144, 151, check the footnotes and you’ll find an explanation of his $ 150,000 “incentive compensation,” bringing his total remuneration up to $294,151.

This year we have added another additional feature, a small sidebar story on stock dividends. Some Dallas companies are headed by a founder who owns a tremendous amount of stock. Consequently he receives so much money from cash dividends that there’s not much point in having a hefty paycheck. Such is the case with EDS founder Ross Perot, who pays himself a measly $68,000 annual salary, but picks up $3.7 million in dividends. We plight note that Charles Tandy’s three companies, Tandy Corporation, Tandycrafts and Tandy Brands, don’t pay any cash dividends, lest our readers think that founder Tandy’s $614,700 salary is a bit high.

Last, we should give special mention to one of our 1975 stars, model Carl the Dog. Carl is a little grayer and a bit heavier this year, but remains in the modeling business at $25 an hour. In a note he advises us that “My rates are the same as 1975 in spite of inflation and the bite the trainer takes out of my salary.” It’s a dog’s life.

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