Sunday, January 28, 2007


The Guardian: do as we say, not as we do

Last year, Alan Rusbridger, the editor of the Guardian, a leading left liberal UK national newspaper, received a 14.7% increase in his annual salary from £272,000 to £312,000 plus a £175,000 bonus. This bonus was apparently related to the relaunch of the Guardian using the compact Berliner format.

Guardian Media Group chief executive Carolyn McCall got a 9% salary increase to £280,000 plus a £215,000 bonus.

Bob Phillis, retiring from the GMG board, received a 7% pay rise to £407,000 and a £280,000 bonus.

At the same time Guardian sales are flat, despite the relaunch, and the Guardian and Observer lost £49.9m. Many Guardian staff got only a 3% pay rise.

The Guardian also had this to say about excessive boardroom pay:

The problem is getting worse. Every year top executives vote themselves rewards totally out of kilter both with what their employees earn and the success they achieve.

Will Alan Rusbridger hand back his bonus or distribute it to staff? Is it right that Alan Rusbridger gets a 14.7% pay rise based on losses, and Guardian staff get around 3%, when one considers that London is now one of the most expensive places on earth to live?

It's time for Alan Rusbridger and the GMG board to live up to the progressive values they espouse every day in Guardian. Its time for Alan to provide a public explanation of his pay rise and bonus as it relates to the Guardian's own public statements on boardroom pay, and I challenge him to return his bonus or distribute it amongst staff.

Thanks to Private Eye for the information above.

The latest Guardian circulation figures are here. The ABC Primary Figure is 365,635 which is roughly the same circulation the Guardian achieved before the relaunch.

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