LISTENING to David Cameron this morning talking about reining in public sector pay and bonuses makes me wish for once that such regulation would extend to the private sector. Why? Step forward John Fry and Sly Bailey, whose snouts are firmly ensconced in the corporate trough.
At Trinity Mirror, chief executive Sly Bailey received a ‘package’ of £1.68 million in 2009, an increase of 66 per cent compared with the previous year. And yet in 2009 Trinity Mirror reported a 41 per cent fall in pre-tax profits while sacking 1,700 people and closing or selling 30 newspapers. One can only envy such success.
My friends in Archant were a bit puzzled when John Fry stood down as chief exec to move to the leprous Johnston Press. Who, after all, would want that poisoned chalice? I think we now know. Fry picked up almost one million pounds for his first year in charge, comprising a salary of £525,000, cash and deferred share bonuses worth £420,000, and £14,000 of other benefits. Over the same period, the publisher of The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post amongst many other regional titles, recorded a fall in pre-tax profits of 56 per cent to £43.3 million. On top of that, the group had to refinance its debt at increased interest costs and had to abandon plans to sell its Irish titles, as no-one was daft enough to pay the asking price.
But it’s not all bad news. As more than 1,000 employees got their cards, chief beancounter Stuart Paterson pocketed £655,000 while chief operating officer Danny Cammiade, not exactly known as a friend of journalists, collected £590,000.
And we have the cheek to slag off the bankers? The mind boggles.