How the Other Half Lives: Michael Caruso Edition

We, too, got our grubby hands on ousted Men's Journal EIC Michael Caruso's wrongful-termination lawsuit against Wenner Media, and we must say it's a delightful read. Our favorite part, though, is the inclusion of Caruso's complete employment contract, executed on November 17, 2003, between Caruso and Wenner Media SVP Robert Kent Browridge.

It's a rare window into precisely what a top editor get paid — even if it's merely the editor of an also-ran men's mag published by a notoriously tight-fisted private company. So let's take a look.

First, the basic stuff:

• A base salary of $400,000 annually.
• A signing bonus of $25,000, to be paid within 10 days of the contract's execution.
• Reimbursement for "necessary and reasonable" business expenses. "The foregoing shall include air travel for business purposes at business class level (for international flights and flights of at least three (3) hours), to the extent available, and hotel accommodations for business travel at the same lvel as the Publisher of the Magazine and the Company's other magazines.
• Four weeks of vacation.

And then there's the "Incentive Compensation Plan":

• Up to $40K bonus per year for boosting circ.
• Up to $40K bonus per year for boosting ad sales.
• A bonus scale for performance on MRI qualitative research, in which the EIC was to be paid $10,000 for a first-place finish, $7,500 for a second-place finish, and $5,000 for each third-place finish in category "% of Readers Who Rate Magazine One of My Favorites" among MJ, Esquire, Outside, Men's Health, GQ.
• $10,000 for each National Magazine Award win; $5,000 for each nomination.
• $10,000 for making Ad Age's Hot List "big list"; $5,000 for making a "mini list."
• $10,000 bonus for coming in under budget.

After the jump, the nitty-gritty of the "Incentive Compensation Plan" and all its "bounties."

How the Other Half Lives: Michael Caruso Edition