GMG execs receive pay boost despite losses

Former chief executive of GMG regional media Mark Dodson walked away with a pay-off of £440,000 after the sell-off earlier this year of the loss-making regional newspaper division he ran.

In 2008/2009 Dodson was one of the few GMG executives take a bonus, of £47,000, despite the fact that his division made a profit of just £500,000 on turnover of £94.5m. This took his total pay for the year to £309,000.

In the last financial year to the end of March, GMG regional media – which includes the Manchester Evening News and associated weeklies – made an operating loss of £100,000.

The £440,000 payment to Dodson is listed in the annual report as ‘compensation for loss of office”.

In February he presided over the sale of the Manchester Evening News, and other Guardian regional newspaper titles, to Trinity Mirror for £7.4m.

He left the company on 28 March after being paid £278,000 for the year. So his total pay for 2009/2010, with pay-off, came to £718,000 – more than seven times the divison’s losses.

Guardian Media Group revealed this morning that writing down the value of some assets had resulted in pre-tax losses increasing by 77 per cent to £171m.

Despite the increase in overall losses, outgoing chief executive Carolyn McCall increased her pay for the year by 32 per cent to £658,000 thanks to a £143,000 performance-related bonus. Her pay hike came as an across the board freeze in basic pay was imposed across the company.

McCall leaves GMG to become chief executive of budget airline Easyjet next month.

Guardian News and Media managing director Tim Brooks boosted his total pay to £330,000 thanks to a £64,000 bonus, compared with the £258,000 he was paid in 2008/2009.

Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger volunteered to take a 10 per cent pay cut for the 2009/2010 financial year leaving him with total remuneration of £411,000 for the year to March.

His decision to take a pay cut came in a year when Guardian News and Media has sought to cut up to 10 per cent of its 780 editorial staff through voluntary redundancies.

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