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Johnston Press chief executive million pound earnings revealed in annual report

March 28th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick, Jobs

Johnston Press chief executive John Fry collected earnings of more than £1 million in 2010, according to the publisher’s annual report, sent out late on Friday afternoon.

The report follows an announcement earlier this month alongside the company’s preliminary results that Fry was to step down within the next year.

According to the figures Fry earned a basic salary of £525,000 in 2010, the same as the previous year, which was then boosted further by benefits and performance related bonus. This led to a total of £1,001,000, an increase on 2009 when Fry received a total of £969,000.

The salary details of other directors were also detailed in the report, with chief financial officer Stuart Paterson, who resigned last year, receiving a total of £520,000 and Danny Cammiade, chief operating officer, receiving an increased total of £618,000.

The report outlines the publisher’s financial performance in 2010, with key statistics including a decrease in total revenues of 7.1 per cent to £398.1 million, a drop in circulation revenues of 2.8 per cent to £96.7 million and an increase in digital revenues of 4 per cent.

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Johnston Press chief: BBC should be limited to three stories per city per day

October 15th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Local media

A curious strategy by Johnston Press’ chief executive John Fry, who has reportedly written to the BBC Trust asking the body to limit the number of news stories the BBC’s website publishes online to three per city or region.

The BBC’s coverage could thwart JP’s plans to launch more paid-for digital services. No mention of its failed paywall pilots though…

Full story on Telegraph.co.uk at this link…

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Mail Online: Johnston Press chief rules out more paywalls

October 1st, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Business, Editors' pick

John Fry, head of Johnston Press, has ruled out future paywalls for JP’s newspaper websites, following the unsuccessful trial on selected sites late last year.

In an interview with the Daily Mail, Fry says:

While a respectable number of users were prepared to pay, it wasn’t enough to offset the slump in ad revenues.

As Fry says: “With the internet it’s free and has been from the beginning. After 15 years of free it’s hard to change people’s habits.”

Apps and media mergers are more likely to help the regional press, he says.

Full interview on Mail Online at this link…

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Despite group redundancies and pay freeze, Johnston Press CEO’s pay package nears £1m

Redundancies across the group and a pay freeze for all staff haven’t stopped the Johnston Press bosses taking home rather juicy bonuses for 2009.  As reported by the Times earlier this month, Johnston Press closed five papers last year, and 768 staff left the group in 2009. Pre-tax profits for 2009 were £43 million, a drop of 56 per cent.

But as reported by Johnston Press’ own paper, the Scotsman, John Fry, the group’s chief executive, took home £959,000 in pay, benefits and bonuses in 2009.

The package, reported in the group’s annual report this week, included: £210,000 cash bonus; a £210,000 performance-related bonus paid in shares (deferred for three years); and a basic salary of £525,000.

The Scotsman reports that his predecessor, Tim Bowdler, who retired in early 2009, was awarded £573,000 in basic pay in 2008. “All executive directors waived their right to a performance-related bonus that year,” it says.

Basic salary for the group’s two other executive directors, chief financial officer Stuart Paterson and chief operating officer Danny Cammiade, did not increase but they took home total packages of £655,000 and £590,000 respectively. In 2008 they took home £363,000 and £342,000 in total, respectively.

Here’s the comparison visualised in a chart. This shows the % change in £ from 2008 figures to 2009 figures (we’ve compared Fry’s pay package with Bowdler’s). The middle column at 0 represents the basic salary pay freeze across the group.

Blue: JP CEO pay package / Red: JP chief financial officer pay package / Yellow: chief operating officer pay package / Green: basic pay rise across group / Grey: total group revenue / Dark blue: advertising revenue / Magenta: JP pre-tax profit

Full Scotsman report at this link…

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Johnston Press’ ad revenues feel effects of recession

August 28th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Newspapers

Johnston Press has today reported half-year revenues of £218.6 million – down 25.4 per cent year-on-year.

Print advertising revenue fell by 33.5 per cent; while digital advertising revenues also declined – by 18.8 per cent.

The publisher’s revenue from employment advertising was down by 53.8 per cent, property ads by 54.2 per cent, motors by 29.3 per cent and from other classifieds by 11.5 per cent.

The company’s interim report said ad revenues were down 32.7 per cent in the first six months of 2009 compared with the same period in 2008.

In an attempt to improve their digital recruitment sites and therefore their appeal to recruitment advertisers, Johnston Press has entered into a joint venture with Daily Mail & General Trust, giving them access to the latter’s Jobsite software.

The report also expresses the group’s struggle ‘to compete with the regional activities of the publicly funded BBC digital presence’, claiming that it ‘distorts the markets within which they operate through making the charging for news content extremely difficult’.

“The timing of the economic upturn remains uncertain but advertising revenues are demonstrating greater stability
and we expect the cyclical improvement when it comes to more than compensate any structural change. We will
maintain our focus on costs and look to secure operating efficiencies during the second half of the year,” said CEO John Fry in the report.

Yesterday the publisher celebrated success after it was announced that it had attracted the most unique users, to its network of regional newspaper websites, in the first six months of 2009.

The publisher, which is responsible for more than 323 websites, recorded 6,864,820 monthly unique users on average over the period, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations Electronic’s six-monthly report for regional newspaper groups.

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Ad spend will bounce back, says Fry; multiple models needed, counters McCall

June 16th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers

Amidst what was otherwise a fairly gloomy House of Commons select committee session on the future of local media in the UK [see Claire Enders' prediction that half of the UK's regional newspapers will close in five years and her comments on bloggers], Johnston Press chief executive John Fry remained staunchly optimistic about the cyclical/structural elements of the decline in local media.

While all members of the panel agreed that this was the worst crisis faced by local media in the industry’s history, Fry said the decline in advertising revenues for his group was more cyclical than structural.

“That implies that there will be a bounce in advertising when that changes. From here onwards we’re likely to bottom out. When the economy recovers we’ll see a recovery in advertising,” he said.

Guardian Media Group chief executive Carolyn McCall was quick to temper Fry’s optimism:

“I don’t believe the prospects for recovery, particularly in classified advertising are particularly strong. I don’t expect to see a great deal of those three big markets – I don’t think bounce is the right word – I think it will come back slowly, it will come back in a different form or shape,” she said.

“The structural change is too profound and the economic recession has just hammered it. Deregulation is one step towards helping. It’s not a panacea. It raises all sorts of important issues about jobs.

“One thing we’re going to have to face about this industry is that it’s going to be a smaller industry with less people in it. Consolidation will help because then the clustering of assets in the right place, will makes more sense, you’ll get more scale.”

All three panellists (Fry, McCall and Trinity Mirror’s Sly Bailey) taking part in the evidence session (which had earlier taken comments from Claire Enders and DC Thomson’s Christopher Thomson) supported consolidation and the relaxation of newspaper merger rules to help local newspapers.

Yet it was McCall again with the most sensible comments – a range of issues and possible solutions need to be considered: discussions about aggregators; consolidation; support for web development; the use of part-paid, part-free access; state-funding; and the problem of council newspapers.

The industry needs to move away from the display advertising model to – not just one business model – but lots of business models, she added.

If any of them can sustain quality local journalism, none should be ruled out, she said, echoing comments from the Society of Editor’s executive director Bob Satchwell to Journalism.co.uk last week.

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Adrian Jeakings will replace John Fry at Archant

September 24th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Newspapers

Following the news that Archant’s CEO John Fry will be the new chief executive at Johnston Press, Archant have announced that Adrian Jeakings will replace him.

Jeakings, currently finance director at the Archant group, will commence the role on November 1. Prior to working at Archant he was the group finance director of the Stationery Office.

Brian McCarthy will replace Jeakings as Archant’s group finance director.

The chairman of Archant, Richard Jewson, said in a release published today: “Both Adrian and Brian have contributed a great deal to our success and it is a tribute to John Fry that he has created such a strong management team”.

Johnston Press have also released a statement announcing that Fry will take over from the retiring CEO, Tim Bowdler, from January 5 2009.

In the release, John Fry said: “I am extremely excited to be joining Johnston Press and relish the opportunity to build on the success of Tim Bowdler and his team. The company has a strong local media franchise covering large parts of the UK and Ireland which I look forward to developing in both print and digital formats.”

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FT.com: Archant boss John Fry finalising contract with Johnston Press

September 22nd, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick

Johnston Press is set to appoint John Fry, currently the chief executive of Archant newspaper group, to replace outgoing chief executive Tim Bowdler.

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