Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre is said by colleagues to have been taken completely by surprise by a Guardian article claiming he is part of a Daily Mail & General Trust share scheme which could bring him a £15m bonus.
The scheme is being implemented but Dacre does not know whether he will be part of it, they say.
If he did take part, he would have to put £1m upfront in shares while recognising that the return forecast by The Guardian would be based on almost impossible to achieve results – over seven years DMGT would have to outperform every other media company in Britain.
"It’s bloody risky. It would be a target hugely unlikely to be achieved," said one Associated executive.
However, Dacre is not only editor of the Daily Mail; he is also Associated Newspapers’ editor-in-chief, a member of the DMGT main board and of the Teletext board.
He is certainly a candidate for a share scheme devised for major DMGT players, who are playing a key role in creating strategy for a major FTSE company.
By Jean Morgan