Guardian chief paid £143,000 bonus despite group reporting £171m loss

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The Independent Online

Guardian Media Group revealed yesterday that its outgoing chief executive Carolyn McCall received a bonus of £143,000 last year in spite of the company recording pre-tax losses of £171m.

The troubled media organisation made a pre-tax loss of £96.7m in the previous financial year. The latest losses were explained as primarily due to writedowns of £96.5m in GMG's investments in the publishing group Emap and £63.9m in its GMG Radio business. Turnover at GMG's wholly owned businesses fell from £310.9m in 2008-09 to £280m in 2009-10, while turnover including the joint ventures Trader Media Group and Emap fell from £543.4m to £476.2m. Operating loss before exceptional items of the wholly owned businesses, which include The Guardian and The Observer newspapers, fell from £65.2m to £53.9m. Ms McCall, who is leaving GMG at the end of this month to become the chief executive of easyJet, received a total pay and bonus package of £658,000, compared to £498,000 the previous year. The editor-in-chief of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, took a voluntary pay cut of £34,000 in the year to March, reducing his annual remuneration from £445,000 to £411,000.

Ms McCall said: "The media industry faces continued uncertainty. Nonetheless, GMG can look ahead with cautious optimism, and with confidence in the future of The Guardian."

News of GMG's losses emerged as Trinity Mirror announced plans to cut 200 jobs at the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror and The People, with the introduction of multimedia newsrooms. The job losses include 140 full-time editorial posts.