Music City Center CEO gets $78K raise - WSMV News 4

Music City Center CEO gets $78K raise

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Charles Starks, Music City Center Chief Executive Officer (Photo: Music City Center) Charles Starks, Music City Center Chief Executive Officer (Photo: Music City Center)

The CEO of the Music City Center is receiving an even bigger raise than a consultant recommended.

The News 4 I-Team reported last month that the man who runs the convention center, Charles Starks, received a $78,000 raise. That makes him the highest-paid worker in Metro general government with an annual salary of $304,000 before potential bonuses.

The I-Team was told the increase was based on recommendations of a consultant, Cushion Employer Services.

The company did a detailed market analysis. When the I-Team asked for it, officials first said it was not in writing.

“There was not a presentation that was left with us or was sent to us that way, that’s correct,” Starks said. “But I’ll be happy to get you what he presented verbally to the board. We’ll get that to you. We’ve offered to do that, and we’ll do that.”

The I-Team eventually received a copy of Cushion’s report that was in writing.

Cushion did a compensation study to determine what Starks’ salary should be. They looked at what other convention center authorities pay, as well as hotels and resorts, convention and visitors bureaus, and chambers of commerce.

Cushion concluded that a person in a position similar to Starks would have an average base pay of $262,230. They recommended that if Starks were paid in the top 75 percent of his peers, that salary could be as high as $278,000.

Yet the Nashville Convention Center Authority game Starks more than the consultant recommended with an annual salary of $304,000.

Marty Dickens, the chairman of the convention center authority, declined an on-camera interview. But he told the I-team the board adopted a higher salary to make up for the fact that Starks’ benefit package fell a little short of his peers.

The I-Team asked the convention center authority how much it paid the consultants for the study but did not hear back by deadline Monday.

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