Capital Radio's Mansfield paid 28% rise despite fall in listeners

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The Independent Online

David Mansfield, the chief executive of Capital Radio, enjoyed a 28 per cent pay rise in 2003 despite the company losing its slot as London's number one radio station.

Mr Mansfield was paid £487,000 in 2003, compared with £381,000 in 2002, according to the company's annual report and accounts posted on its website.

His total pay included bonus and benefits in kind worth £104,000. Capital announced in November that annual turnover had fallen to £115.3m from £120m the year before, while profits fell to £22.8m from £27.8m.

During the year Capital also lost its talismanic breakfast show DJ, Chris Tarrant, who has been replaced by Johnny Vaughan. Mr Mansfield has also put in place new management at Capital's London station to boost its fortunes.

However, in many people's minds a more significant development during the year was the fact that Heart, the FM station owned by Chrysalis, overtook Capital as the leading station in London.

According to Rajar audience figures for the last quarter, Capital's audience share slipped to 7 per cent from 8.9 per cent while Heart's rose from 6.7 per cent to 7.2 per cent.

Capital said Mr Mansfield's pay rise was partly the result of a study it commissioned by Monks, the pay consultants, which found that Capital's boardroom pay was out of line with its peer group in the media sector.

As well as an increase in his basic salary, the company said Mr Mansfield was entitled to higher remuneration under the terms of his incentive scheme.

A spokeswoman for Capital also pointed out that Mr Mansfield had seen his pay fall in 2001 to £373,000 from £710,000 in 2000. She said Mr Mansfield had not taken a bonus in 2001 or 2002 because of the poor performance of the advertising market.

The company's share price has improved since hitting a low of 357.5p in March. The stock market hopes to see a sustained improvement in advertising in the coming year, leading to an improvement in Capital's performance.

Mr Mansfield has been keen to remind the stock market that Capital is more than just the eponymous London station, with the company owning a string of other regional stations.

At its annual results, he delivered an upbeat assessment of the company's prospects, revealing that advanced advertising sales for December were well ahead of last year.