£600k salary for outgoing Newsquest chief Paul Davidson as company makes £53m profit in 2013

The UK’s third largest newspaper group Newsquest made an operating profit last year  of £52.8m on turnover of £289m.

Both profit and turnover were down from the 2012 totals of £58.9m and £305m respectively, reflecting continuing decline in print circulations.

But chief executive, Paul Davidson, of the publisher of titles including The Argus in Brighton and The Herald in Scotland saw his pay rise 9 per cent to £610,458 in his final year in the job.

Over the last year Newsquest has been hit by industrial disputes in protest at redundancies, pay freezes and the transfer of sub-editing hobs to remote factory-style production centres.

Newquest NUJ northern and Midlands organiser Chris Morley said: “The squeeze on living standards of our members in Newsquest has been harsh and brutal in recent years.

“It is breath-taking that the vast pay packet trousered by Paul Davidson year-in, year-out, could rise yet further during the year. His pay is equal to that of 25 typical Newsquest journalists and yet he has guided the company to lower profits and revenue for successive years.

“New chief executive, Henry Faure Walker, has a lot of ground to make up in restoring morale and confidence in management. The best way to start will be to make sure staff get a decent pay rise in in 2014. Our chapels will be reminding him of that very loudly, I’m sure.”

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