Johnston Press outgoing chief's earnings top £1m in 2010

The outgoing chief executive of Johnston Press, John Fry, saw his earnings break the £1m mark last year, in his second year in charge of the regional newspaper publisher.

Fry’s basic salary remained stable at £525,000 in 2010 – the fourth consecutive year of executive pay freezes at the company. However this was topped up by a £460,000 performance-related bonus, up from £420,000 in 2009, split equally between cash and deferred share options.

With a further £16,000 in taxable benefits, his total earnings for 2010 added up to £1.001m. The figures are published for the first time in the Johnston Press 2010 annual report, released late on Friday afternoon.

Chief operating officer Danny Cammiade earned £628,000 in total – up from £590,000 in 2009. This included £276,000 in performance-related bonus, again split equally between cash and shares.

Johnston Press said in the annual report: “The remuneration policy aims to attract, motivate and retain directors of the high calibre needed to maintain the group’s strong position in its local markets, to drive the future success of the business and to reward them for maximising and protecting the long-term value to shareholders.

“The company’s policy is that a substantial proportion of the remuneration of the executive directors should be performance-related.”

Johnston Press announced earlier this month that its overall revenue dropped seven per cent to £398.1m last year. However, like-for-like operating profits grew for the first time in four years, up from £69.3m to £72m.

The firm, which publishes the Scotsman and Yorkshire Post, cut operating costs by £30.1m during the 12-month period, which included reducing headcount by 9.2 per cent to 6,209 employees.

John Fry handed in his notice this month and is due to leave the group by March 2012, after serving a one-year notice period “to facilitate a smooth handover” to a new chief executive. The process to find his successor has begun.

Fry became chief executive of Johnston Press in January 2009, joining from the Archant newspaper group as replacement for previous boss Tim Bowdler.

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