Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre's pay hits £1.64m

Daily Mail & General Trust annual report reveals paper achieved second highest ever profit this year
Read the DMGT annual report in full (pdf)

The Daily Mail editor, Paul Dacre – long regarded as the best-paid editor on Fleet Street – received a salary of £1.64m this year, but did not receive a bonus.

His pay and benefits package, up slightly from £1.62m in 2008, included fees and salary of £1.13m. He received a cash allowance of £479,000 instead of membership of the senior executive pension fund and instead of Daily Mail & General Trust providing him with central London accommodation.

Dacre also received benefits of £23,000, which included a company car, fuel and medical insurance payments, but the editor does not participate in the company's annual bonus scheme.

Almost uniquely in Fleet Street for an editorial executive, Dacre sits on the main board of DMGT.

Dacre, who is also editor-in-chief of Associated Newspapers, the DGMT subsidiary that publishes the Daily Mail, saw his empire shrink this year when the company sold 75.1% of the London Evening Standard to Russian businessman Alexander Lebedev. Also, his trusted lieutenant Alistair Sinclair, who had been tipped as his successor, retired, sparking speculation that Dacre would also leave.

The DMGT chairman, Viscount Rothermere, chief executive Martin Morgan, who took over on 1 October 2008, and chief financial officer Peter Williams received a profit-related bonus. Rothermere's salary leapt to £1.32m from £705,000 in 2008.

"I would like to thank our employees for their magnificent response to the torrid market conditions," Rothermere said in the DGMT annual report.

"When the world's financial system faced meltdown in October 2008, it was clear that we had to act fast to reduce our cost base, particularly in our newspaper divisions. As a result of this, we sadly had to release over 2,500 employees across our businesses," he added.

Rothermere said he had been "impressed" at the speed with which DMGT businesses had reacted to the downturn.

DMGT beat forecasts to record a 23% fall in adjusted pre-tax profits to £201m for the 12 months to 4 October.

"A number have had to cut their cost base sharply; others, more fortunate, have only had to scale back their growth ambitions; a lucky few have actually continued to grow well," he added. "The Daily Mail maintained its profitability this year, the second highest in its history."

The company reintroduced its long-term incentive plan, which it shelved last year due to "exceptional trading conditions" and "the lack of visibility into future trading".

Morgan and Williams are among those with a long-term incentive plan and they will also participate in the company's executive bonus scheme.

Kevin Beatty, the chief executive of national newspaper division Associated Newspapers, will also take part in a long-term incentive plan and bonus scheme, with a maximum payment of 60% of salary.

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Stephen Brook

The GuardianTramp

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