Back in April, the Pac-12 Networks laid off roughly a dozen staffers, implemented a hiring freeze, and cut the salaries of senior staffers by 10%, while commissioner Larry Scott took a 20% cut. Those pay cuts were to last until the end of the school year, and would be revisited in the summer.
Well, the school year is over, we’re in the summer, and those pay cuts have been revisited. Specifically, the pay cuts will continue for another full year, per the Oregonian.
Scott relayed the bad news to the staff via an email obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive. Scott wrote, “our CEO Group approved our conference budget for this coming year, which includes a 9 percent overall decrease in expenses along with salary reductions for employees making over $100,000 in annual salary.”
The salary reductions were effective immediately and will remain in effect for the next 12 months. Employees making six figures received pay reductions ranging from 5-10 percent. Scott, who makes $5.3 million, revealed in the email that he’d be taking a compensation reduction of 12 percent.
Very brave of Larry Scott to take a lower pay cut than he did three months ago while more employees take a pay cut of their own. But hey, that seems about par for the course for the Pac-12 Networks.
Oregonian columnist John Canzano also wondered if the Pac-12 could part ways with Scott before his contract expires two summers from now, if only to help the Pac-12 Networks survive.
Also, it sparked internal conversations over the Fourth of July weekend about whether the Pac-12 CEO Group — the conference’s chancellors and presidents — might make an early move on Scott. His contract expires in the summer of 2022. The conference’s media rights contracts expire in 2024, and that date has long been viewed as the target opportunity for the Pac-12 to close the gap with its Power Five Conference peers when it comes to both exposure limitations and revenue shortfalls.
“There’s serious talk amongst the Pac-12 CEO Group,” said one high-level conference administrator, “to end his contract ahead of the expiration date to have a fighting chance to save the (conference) Networks.”
I feel like we’ve been roasting Scott and the Pac-12 Networks for years now. Nothing has really changed for the better in the nearly eight (!) years since the Pac-12 Networks launched. The conference could use a change in leadership, and even if the Pac-12 runs Scott’s contract down until its expiration in the summer of 2022 instead of parting ways with him early, I can’t see him the conference’s commissioner of the future.