Senior directors of leading regional publisher Johnston Press agreed to forego their bonuses last year in view of the decline in its share price, it emerged today.
The company’s three executive directors are entitled to a maximum bonus equivalent to up to 150pc of their basic salaries.
In 2007, the former chief executive Tim Bowdler received a total pay package of £1.088m including a bonus element of £516,000.
However the company’s annual report published today revealed that none of its directors received a bonus in respect of 2008, effectively cutting their take-home pay by up to 45pc.
The report showed that the other two executive directors, finance director Stuart Paterson and chief operating officer Danny Cammiade, received bonuses of £304,000 and £291,000 respectively in 2007, taking their overall pay for the year to £655,000 and £620,000 respectively.
However in 2008 they and Mr Bowdler were paid just their basic salaries, £573,000 in the case of Mr Bowdler, £360,720 for Mr Paterson and £323,592 for Mr Cammiade.
The report stated: “Given the reduction in earnings in 2008 and the significant drop in the company’s share price in the year, every director voluntarily agreed to forego any bonus for 2008 and none was paid.”
In his introduction to the report, the current chief executive John Fry said the company’s key priority over the coming months would be reducing debt by continuing to focus on cost control and seeking to maximise cash generation.
JP Sub (25/03/2009 13:10:17)
My heart bleeds over the fact they only got such tiny salaries last year.
Knock off another £100k each and that would save a few more jobs.
cad (25/03/2009 13:54:27)
Don’t you love the ‘just’ word?
Mr Bowdler was paid ‘just’ his basic salary of £573,000.
I’m sure those journalists out of work are well pleased,
All Subbed Out (25/03/2009 13:56:25)
So JP’s outgoing boss will ‘only’ get a ‘basic’ £573K. Oh, poor him. I’ve slogged away in the local newspaper game for 21 years and end up as a redundant editor who wouldn’t now be making that much in almost 24 years. And he’s one of the bosses who has presided over horrendous management, retrenchment and cutbacks in pursuit of unattainable margins. It makes me spit.
JPvictim (25/03/2009 14:09:22)
How come management are getting paid at all? I’ve been part of the team that made JP profitable for the last upteen years – they’re the team that helped JP into an unmanageable debt while bleeding their existing papers of necessary resources to provide a quality service to their readerships. Yet it’s me that’s losing my job – and getting considerably less than Bowdler. He should be facing the same question put to Fred Goodwin: ‘When are you going to repay the money? You don’t deserve any of it.’
Another sub (25/03/2009 14:09:58)
I think Mr Bowdler was, if anything, underpaid. There’s no amount of money that would have made me make the decisions he did. Imagine all those journalists wanting revenge. How does he sleep at night? Bless.
JP (25/03/2009 14:53:44)
Sickening stuff. We have a pay and recruiment freeze and are losing staff left, right and centre. The bosses? They lose their bonuses – how tough for them.
FAST WOMAN (25/03/2009 15:39:13)
Shouldn’t this story be under htfp’s Newspaper Funnies section, under a sub-heading of Black Humour?
JohnstonPest (25/03/2009 15:52:49)
Dammit! We’ve just had a cake-baking week and raised 90 quid for Comic Relief. Is it too late to claw it back and send it to these guys?
outthedoor (25/03/2009 16:27:02)
Their combined bonus for 2007 was £1 million. They should all be made to pay it back – it would save hundreds of jobs. It is greed, pure greed, that created this unholy mess.
regionalhack (26/03/2009 08:50:58)
So if anyone out there has any old clothes or shoes you were thinking of throwing out, don’t!
Think of the needy, and please package them up and send to “Johnston Press executive pay appeal. Edinburgh, Scotland”. Every little bit helps, so please please help.
To further show my support and share their plight, I’m am offering here and now, to try to get by on a mere £525,000, or £363,000, or even just £342,000.
God knows it will be hard, but I feel your pain boys.
Out in the sticks (26/03/2009 10:21:58)
Hang on a mintute! They gave up their bonuses “voluntarily”? This suggests that despite the collapse in share price and profitability, their contracts are such as they were entitled to bonuses. What are the shareholders doing to allow this to happen? They should be calling for resignations at the company’s next agm, if not before.
Press Gang’d (26/03/2009 10:51:03)
As someone who has worked in regional newspapers for over 15 years, and receive a salary of less than £20k, my heart truly bleeds for these directors.
Colleagues are being made redundant this month, and I will probably be in the next round.
But, as long as Messrs, Bowdler, Peterson and Cammiade don’t suffer then my sacrifice will have been worth it.
JP Gloom (26/03/2009 11:03:43)
And these are the people demanding Government hand-outs to save papers. Um, it ain’t rocket science, slash your wages and live in the real world – you may understand more about real life, real readers and real journalism.
mikeK (26/03/2009 12:29:56)
MikeK (26/03/2009 12:32:05)
Wont somebody PLEASE think about the children…..
Jp JP (27/03/2009 09:01:05)
Bowdler is still being paid £570,000 for “consultancy” work.
JP (27/03/2009 09:02:47)
Sorry it’s -http://www.theherald.co.uk/business/news/display.var.2497865.0.Johnston_Press_to_revamp_incentive_scheme.php