Trinity Mirror has detailed a new pay package for its chief executive Sly Bailey following criticism from shareholders in response to release of figures showing she received £1.3m in cash, shares and pension contributions last year. The NUJ continues to urge rebel shareholders to reject the changes and call for her bonus to be used in saving journalists' jobs.
Under the new plan, outlined yesterday, Bailey's short-term cash bonuses will be reduced from a potential 110 per cent of her base salary to 55 per cent. However, any cuts to the payout could be entirely offset by changes to her long-term incentives plan, which the company board recommended rise from 80 per cent of salary to 144 per cent. Bailey's base salary of £750,000 remains unchanged.
Pre-tax profits at the group plunged by 40 per cent in the last year. Shares in the company, which publishes 240 regional newspapers as well as the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror, the Scottish Sunday Mail, People and Daily Record, have fallen by 90 per cent in the last five years. Bailey has been Trinity Mirror chief executive since 2003.
According to the FT, investors in Trinity Mirror still plan to "demand an explanation from the board over the size of its executive pay packages given the dismal performance of the publishing group". Any changes must be approved by shareholders at the company's AGM on 10 May.
Ian Gibson, the group's outgoing chairman, said:
We responded to some shareholder comments that we ought to make the shareholder package significantly biased towards longer-term performance and shares, so that they felt assured that management's interests were aligned with theirs. Overall remuneration structures should not reflect market capitalisation. If our market capitalisation doubled overnight - and at our level it could - we wouldn't double executive remuneration.
As part of restructuring at the group 75 full- and part-time journalist jobs have been axed; accounting for an 18 per cent reduction in editorial staff.