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The Drum

BBC News quartet agree salary reduction to defuse gender pay row

BBC News quartet agree salary reduction to defuse gender pay row

Four of the BBC’s highest profile male journalists have agreed to accept a salary reduction in an effort to defuse a damaging gender pay row at the broadcaster.

Jeremy Vine, John Humphrys, Jon Sopel and Huw Edwards all agreed to the coordinated pay cut in a show of solidarity with their less well remunerated female colleagues, not least the former China editor Carrie Gracie who quit in disgust upon learning of disparities in pay between editors of different genders.

The can of worms was opened in July 2017 when the broadcaster was forced to divulge the identity of top on-air talent receiving in excess of £150k per year, laying bare the schism between the take home pay of men and women performing similar roles.

Gracie’s departure was hastened by the knowledge that US editor Sopel and Middle East editor Bowen both featured on the list, while her own salary, in addition to that of Europe editor Katya Adler, were not sufficient to make the grade.

In the year 2016/17 Radio Two presenter Vine took home up to £750k while Today host Humphrys benefitted from as much as £650k. BBC News anchor Edwards was reported to be on up to £600k and significantly above the maximum £250k take home of Sopel.

It is not known what Gracie’s salary package is but the veteran journalist will demand to be ‘paid equally’ upon her return to London.

Chris Evans was the single biggest earner at the organisation having taken home as much as £1.25m in the year 2016/17 – far in excess of his nearest female rival Claudia Winkleman, who received £500k at most over the same period.