Time Inc. has decided to pay out $2.4 million in cash bonuses to top executives, in what appears to be in direct opposition to previously-approved compensation plans.

Bottom line: The bonuses are sure to stick in the craw of rank-and-file who are worried about losing their jobs when Time Inc. is acquired later this year by Meredith Corp., at a stock price below where shares were trading at this time last year.

Time Inc. said in an April 2017 regulatory filing that "none of the [senior executives] is eligible for any cash payment or benefit solely upon the occurrence of a change in control."

But such cash payments are exactly what the company seems to have disclosed in a filing yesterday. Six top executives, including outgoing CEO Rich Battista, will receive $325,000 checks shortly after the acquisition closes. Other outlays include $150,000 for chairman John Fahey, who only has been in the position for eight months.

Moreover, the bonuses are on top of previously-approved compensation plans that were designed to keep executives around while Time Inc. and Meredith work to finalize their merger.

The new filing does reference that the money will come out of a "previously established retention bonus pool," but such a pool does not appear to have been mentioned in any prior Time Inc. filings.

A Time Inc. spokeswoman declined comment.

Go deeper

How "naked ballots" could upend mail-in voting in Pennsylvania

Trump signs in Olyphant, Penn. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Pennsylvania's Supreme Court ordered state officials last week to throw out mail-in ballots submitted without a required inner "secrecy" envelope in November's election, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The state of play: The decision went under the radar alongside the simultaneous decision to extend the time that mail-in ballots could be counted, but Philadelphia's top elections official warned state legislators this week that throwing out so-called "naked ballots" could bring "electoral chaos" to the state and cause "tens of thousands of votes" to be thrown out — potentially tipping the presidential election.

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Moderator Chris Wallace. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Chair Jay Powell bump elbows before House hearing on Tuesday. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

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