Trinity Mirror chief executive Sly Bailey under fire on job cuts and salary package

By Hamish Mackay

February 3, 2012 | 3 min read

Trinity Mirror chief executive Sly Bailey is under fire on two fronts –editorial cutbacks at the group’s three London-based national titles and her salary package.

Members of the British Association of Journalists (BAJ), the recognised union at the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People, are demanding that she resign in the wake of the announcement of 75 full-time and part-time redundancies at these newspapers.

And the Financial Times yesterday reported that major Trinity Mirror shareholders have expressed concern over the £1.7m pay package awarded to Bailey last year.

The latest proposed cuts are expected to reduce the editorial headcount at the three tabloids to around 325.

The BAJ members approved a motion which read: "This meeting places on record its outrage at the proposed redundancy of 75 full and part-time journalists following 168 other redundancies only 15 months ago.

"This meeting believes this further slaughter of journalists will only accelerate the decline in the journalistic quality of the three titles.

"The redundancies are unacceptable when MGN is making substantial profits and the Sunday Mirror and The People circulations have increased massively since the closure of the News of the World.

"Management has confirmed that the MGN titles made a profit of £60 million last year. So there is no justification for any redundancies.

"This meeting believes that Trinity Mirror management has shown itself incapable of running national newspapers. It is crippling the national titles while using MGN profits to prop up its mismanaged regional newspapers.

"This meeting, therefore, calls on Sly Bailey, the board of directors and the executive committee to resign forthwith."

The NUJ has already condemned the job cuts, with general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet, saying: “These cuts represent a depressingly familiar tale at Trinity Mirror. Rather than invest in quality products – and continue to build on recent growth in circulation on the Sunday titles – the strategy is to cut jobs and compromise quality journalism.

“Where is the strategy for growth and the future? Journalists are paying with their jobs for the corporate mismanagement and incompetence of Sly Bailey and her senior executives – yet still they continue to award themselves lavish pay.”

Yesterday The Financial Times claimed that Trinity Mirror was reportedly under pressure from several major shareholders to “rein in” Bailey’s salary package.

According to the FT, one top 10 shareholder had told it Bailey’s pay was “just not tenable”, and was quoted as pointing out: “It is out of kilter with the group’s performance and current size. It is premature to say we are demanding her head but we are looking at it all very keenly."

A second top-ten shareholder was quoted as saying: “Sly hasn’t got a great many supporters now – not when she has lost so much and is so well paid.”

Bailey’s salary increased by 2% to £1.7m last year – comprising a basic salary of £736,000, and a cash bonus of £660,000 with an additional £248,000 in pension contributions.

The FT pointed out that when she joined the company in February, 2003, Trinity’s share price stood at 390p with a market capitalisation of £1.1bn.

It is now valued at £119.1m and the shares closed on Wednesday at 46.25p.


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