Some say this tension has led Bronfman to pitch a compromise that would keep Cohen but in a greatly diminished capacity, with a commensurate reduction in his compensation.

IB BAD: THE BLIND
LEADING THE BLIND

WMG Continues to Stumble As Edgar Tries to Save Lyor
Tick, tick, tick… boom?

WMG topper Edgar Bronfman Jr. is inexplicably on a crusade to save Lyor Cohen’s job, as calls for the removal of the Warner Music N.A. boss grow louder. Indeed, the hue and cry within the company now threatens to coalesce into an outright palace coup, but Bronfman refuses to budge, having been convinced by Cohen that he’s vital, while just about everyone else knows Cohen is over.

Bronfman’s championing of WMG’s second-ranking executive is even stranger considering that Cohen continually badmouths his boss and lone remaining supporter.

WMG executives are said to be collectively dismayed by Bronfman’s irrational belief in Cohen, having come to the conclusion that the latter is an obstruction to getting anything accomplished and must be removed for the company to move forward.

Although the WMG board has yet to decide whether to keep either executive when their present one-year extensions run out next March, the board appears to be leaning toward continuing with Bronfman. Thus, feeling more secure, Bronfman has turned his attention to the challenging chore of convincing the board that Cohen is indispensable, despite massive evidence to the contrary, leading to talk of heightened tension between the WMG Chairman and various board members.

Some say this tension has led Bronfman to pitch a compromise that would keep Cohen but in a greatly diminished capacity, with a commensurate reduction in his compensation. For a comprehensive look at Cohen's salary package, click here. To see the entire board's compensation, click here.

Until the board determines the fates of Bronfman and Cohen, several other Warner executives, including Tom Whalley, Craig Kallman and Scott Pascucci, all of whose deals expire this year, will remain in limbo about their own futures.

When and if reason prevails, Cohen will be able to salve the wounds to his ego with a one-time cash bonus of $10 million, plus 2.4 million shares of WMG common stock, carrying a current value of nearly $15 million—his reward for playing the primary role in dismantling the company.

Meanwhile, Cohen continues to draw an annual base salary of $1.5 million, along with a bonus of between $2.5 million and $5 million—and this in the midst of a company-wide austerity program.

Strange times, indeed.

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