|MAD MONEY' CRAMER HITS $1M|
By KEITH J. KELLY
May 4, 2006 -- Just call him Little Big Man.
James Cramer, the acerbic co-founder of The- Street.com and crazed financial news commentator on CNBC's "Mad Money," saw his compensation from the online news service surge dramatically in 2005, according to the company's proxy.
What's more, next year he'll be hauling in $1 million in salary alone from TheStreet.com.
In 2005, Cramer's salary jumped 25 percent from $400,000 to $500,000. And it's slated to jump to $750,000 this year.
He also continues to reap $450,000 a year from CBS Radio for his show.
"If you look at the company's revenue and ask yourself how much of that is there because of him, it's cheap," said Douglas McIntyre, a former board member of TheStreet.com.
The news about his Street.com compensation came even as other executives, including CEO Thomas J. Clarke and President James Lonergan, saw compensation drop last year.
"Cramer is absolutely necessary for The- Street.com," said McIntyre. "He's like a franchise ballplayer."
Clarke's base stayed steady at $356,000, but his bonus dropped to $124,600 and he was granted 45,000 restricted stock units.
With the stock up almost 60 percent this year, that's a nice bonus.
Analysts said much of TheStreet's success was due to Cramer, whose madcap appearances bring visitors to the site.
"Would you rather pay Cramer $1 million," asked said Frank Gristina, an analyst at Avondale Partners, "or spend $10 million on marketing?"