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Adelphia Compensation Creating Controversy

By Mark Scott

New York City, NY – The compensation for two newly-hired executives of Adelphia Communications has been creating some controversy in recent days.

First, a committee of shareholders complained. Then, Adelphia founder John Rigas weighed in against it. What they're opposed to is the compensation package put together for former AT&T Broadband executives William Schleyer and Ronald Cooper, the men hired by Adelphia to bring the company out of bankruptcy.

They're guaranteed $24 million, but with incentives, could earn as much as $41 million in the next three years. While stockholders believe that's excessive, a group of Adelphia creditors have filed papers with US Bankruptcy Court in support of the compensation package.

Financial Analyst Anthony Ogorek say the creditors are pinning their hopes on Schleyer and Cooper.

"Their salaries are going to be coming out of the hides of the creditors," Ogorek said. "So, if the creditors believe paying anwhere from $30 billion to $40 billion to these two people to, in a sense, pull a rabbit out of the hat and ultimately get them more money, the compensation package makes sense from their standpoint."

Adelphia itself filed a statement with the creditors saying the compensation is reasonable and appropriate. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber, who must sign off on it, will hold a hearing on Monday.