With the Trinity Mirror deal likely not to go ahead, it looks like Daily and Sunday Express and Star newspapers are set to continue being run and owned by Britain’s greediest millionaire Richard Desmond according to a new article by the National Union of Journalists. The article is scathing of management but if true a zero pay rise since 2008 is tough by anyone’s standards.
23 September 2015
As latest figures show Richard Desmond’s profits have soared, with executives pocketing bumper bonuses, staff at his newspapers are asking him to justify why he has not given them a pay rise in eight years.
Northern & Shell, the parent company of the Daily and Sunday Express and Star newspapers and magazines including OK!, reported an almost tenfold increase in pre-tax profits year on year to £333.7m in 2014.
A spokesman for the Express Newspapers NUJ chapel said:
“This is the culmination of 15 years of pillage of our company by Britain’s greediest billionaire.
“The workforce at our three sites in London, Glasgow, and Broughton are outraged by the sheer greed of Richard Desmond and his cronies. Even very senior executives on our four titles have been spitting blood after seeing these figures. Neither they nor the rest of the staff have had even a cost of living rise since April 2008. As a consequence, most of us are around 20 per cent worse off. Experienced journalists with years of service on national newspapers are having to remortgage or downsize just to pay the bills.
“Morale, as a consequence, has plumbed new depths after the release of these accounts. We have been pinning our hopes on Trinity Mirror coming into buy our titles but the signs are that’s not going to happen now and we are stuck with Richard Desmond, the unacceptable face of British business in the 21st century.”
Desmond’s fortunes were boosted by the sale of Channel 5 to MTV-owner Viacom for £463m, with Northern & Shell making a profit of the sale of £359m. His senior executives benefited by almost £20m.
Joint managing directors, Stan Myerson and Martin Ellice, financial director, Robert Sanderson, and group editorial director, Paul Ashford, were paid a combined £18.3m last year. The unnamed highest paid director received £4.6m. The accounts showed Desmond was paid £795,000 last year for his role as chairman.
Express Newspapers reported a pre-tax profits drop of £30.4m to just £812,000 year on year, as total revenues fell from £204.8m to £196.9m year on year.