Media regulator Ofcom joins the industry pay freeze

Ofcom has become the latest organisation in the media industry to announce a pay freeze for all staff.

The broadcasting regulator said today there would be no salary rises in the 2009/10 financial year. The Ofcom executive board has also agreed not to take a bonus.

In a statement, the regulator said it had taken into account the negative rate of inflation, the pressure on public finances and the “economic circumstances of the many companies within the communications sector where similar action on pay has been taken”.

Pay freezes have been announced in recent months at The Guardian Media Group, Bauer Media and Tindle, all publishers turned broadcasters.

In the wider media industry, outside the remit of Ofcom, similar action has been taken at Northcliffe, Newsquest, Trinity Mirror, Johnston Press, Archant and William Reed.

Ofcom said it “wanted to ensure [it] reflected the circumstances of the companies and taxpayers who pay for the organisation and took full account of the widespread financial pressures they face”.

It added: “Savings made as a result of these and other measures will be returned to the taxpayer and to stakeholder companies.”

In the 2007/08 financial year, the 11-member Ofcom executive board was paid a total of £1.41m.

Chief executive Ed Richards took home £417,581, including pension, benefits, a £282,000 salary and a £56,400 bonus.

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