Regional publisher Tindle Newspapers is to pay bonuses of up to £400 to all its staff, it was announced today.
The newspaper group’s chairman Sir Ray Tindle set out the move in a letter to all the group’s 700 employees.
He said that £200,000 had been set aside by the group to pay bonuses ranging from £125 – £400 for full-time staff with pro-rata figures for part-time staff.
The exact amount per employee will be calculated on the basis of how each individual company within the group has performed.
Wrote Sir Ray: “Despite the deep recession it has been decided once again to pay a bonus to every member of staff and to pay it somewhat earlier than last year – hopefully in time for my 87th birthday in early October!
“We are glad to be able to pay this as everyone has worked hard to try to pull our newspapers through this dreadful recession.”
In the letter, Sir Ray highlighted some of the group’s recent achievements including the launch of 21 new weekly titles and the purcahse of a small group of weeklies.
He also claimed that 50 of the group’s 60 newspaper titles had improved their financial position in the past year, although ten newspaper centres were still “struggling valiantly.”
Added Sir Ray: “We built this family group of over 200 independent weeklies from one very small weekly (circulation 700) and have never borrowed a single penny in its over 45 years of existence, even during this downturn.
“The fall in revenue as the result of the recession and other factors has meant that all newspapers are having to slim in order to keep their heads above water, but this has been mainly achieved by non-replacement and no journalists have been made compulsorily redundant in the Tindle Newspaper Group so far.
“Despite this major fall in advertisement revenue and in profit during these almost six years of downturn, as a group we are still in a viable situation. With your continued help we’ll see this recession through.
“There are 1,000 local weekly newspapers in the UK. Many of them have served their communities for between 100 and 200 years. With their dedicated staffs they fill a clear need and will certainly survive the present troubles as they have always done in the past.”