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Guardian News and Media Final Results – Chief Executive gets £1.4m bonus while papers lose £30.6m

This is a cross-post by More Media Nonsense

The Guardian’s results for last year are out :

Guardian chief executive Andrew Miller saw his annual pay treble to nearly £2.2 million as the media group rewarded him for selling its stake in car website Auto Trader, even though the core newspaper business remained heavily loss-making.

Guardian News and Media, publisher of The Guardian and The Observer, lost £30.6 million in the year to March against a £33.8 million loss a year earlier.

However, turnover climbed 7% to £210.2 million, thanks to digital growing by a quarter to £69.5 million, while print revenues stayed “broadly flat”.

Parent company Guardian Media Group swung to a pre-tax profit of £549.2 million as it banked a huge windfall of £619 million from selling its 50% stake in Trader Media Group, owner of Auto Trader, to Apax Partners.

GMG paid only £1.4 million in corporation tax but Miller insisted the profits from Trader were not liable for tax under the Substantial Shareholdings Exemption rule.
He got a £1.4 million “long-term” bonus, on top of his salary of £696,000, plus benefits.

The GMG boss said he deserved the bonus, which was  “contractual”, because he has overseen Trader for 12 years, including as finance director, and “relinquished my equity” when he joined GMG in 2009. “That’s the bulk of my award,” he said.

GMG also gave Miller a short-term bonus of £226,000, which would have taken his package to £2.4 million, but he deferred it until next year. He acknowledged his pay was high but pointed out he has waived nearly £500,000 in past bonuses. Editor Alan Rusbridger’s pay was flat at £491,000.

Do the phrases “corporate greed”, “fat cats” and “growing inequality” mean anything to the hypocrites that run this paper ?

I really wonder how the dwindling readership (down c3% in the last year) stomach the paradox between the simplistic unreconstructed “soak the rich” economics they read on a daily basis and the way the paper is run.

As for the fact GMG paid so little tax on its windfall from the Trader Media group, there’s no doubt its all above board but in the past the paper has had the temerity to question other companies such as Barclays that also use such allowances (see here).

Why is it that the most influential Left of Centre paper in the UK is such a hive of hypocrisy ?