Pay for Johnston Press boss Bowdler exceeds £1 million

Pay for Johnston Press chief executive Tim Bowdler exceeded £1 million for the first time in 2007.

The annual report, released today, reveals that Bowdler was paid a basic salary of £556,000 plus a performance related bonus of £516,000 along with taxable benefits of £16,000.

The bonus was based on reaching profit and other targets set by the Johnston Press remuneration committee.

Johnston Press made an operating profit in 20077 of £178.1m (down from £186.8m) on turnover of £607.5m (up from £602.2m).

The annual report of the regional press giant revealed that it is in a period of “fundamental transformation” in which its regional journalism operations are changing from “big newspaper publishers to community media companies”.

It revealed plans to increase investment in digital operations and continue “restructuring the organisation to ensure it is equipped to deliver on our digital aspirations”. This involves the continuation of rolling out digital newsroom techniques across the company as initiated with the Lancashire Evening Post’s “newsroom of tomorrow” project in 2006.

The report also makes clear that the core print newspapers remain extremely important for the company.

It states: “We envisage local and regional newspapers remaining at the heart of our activities for an indefinite period” and states the company’s “fundamental belief in the resilience of print” which is its “bedrock”.

The report reveals that Johnston Press’s various websites had 8.2 million unique web users (per month) in 2007 compared with 6.6 million in 2006 and 2.2 million in 2005.

But despite this growth, print advertising revenue still accounted for the vast majority of Johnston Press income in 2007: £401.5 million (down from £409.9 million in 2006), compared with digital advertising revenue of £15.1 million (up from £11.3 million in 2006).

Newspaper sales accounted for £102.4 million of income.

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