Johnston Press is set to introduce a new performance-related pay system as it ends an 18-month salary freeze.
The move comes six months after the National Union of Journalists announced it was seeking urgent talks with the regional publisher over the freeze.
In an email to staff this week chief executive Ashley Highfield confirmed reviews would be reinstated.
He wrote: “This is the year I said we’d get back to growth and thanks to your efforts, your energy and your commitment we are heading in the right direction.
“We are turning the company around and I am pleased to announce we are reinstating pay reviews in recognition of your efforts.
“Reintroducing pay reviews will be the first step in changing the way we reward people. In the last staff survey you said you wanted more recognition for good performance, so in the coming year we are going to move towards linking salary increases to performance where we can.
“Essentially we want to start rewarding our best performers and top talent with larger pay increases than may be awarded to others and, over time, it could even mean that some people don’t receive a pay award when others do.”
According to the NUJ, a Johnston Press senior reporter typically earns £22,000 and trainees can earn less than £16,000.