News

DMG offers shares to staff in exchange for pay cut

Posted on: April 7, 2020 by Mariella Brown

The Daily Mail group of newspapers is the latest to announce that staff are to be asked to take a pay cut as a result of the Covid-19 emergency.

Staff earning over £40,000 will be asked to take a pay cut between 1-26%, which is to be replaced with shares in the DMGT company.

Recipients of the shares can sell these for cash at a later date and staff have been assured that if the share price is lower than its initial value, DMGT will compensate the difference. The move was announced in order to avoid furloughing staff.

Daily Mail and General Trust’s chairman, Lord Rothermere informed staff: “With the world spiralling into recession, we have seen, and must expect, a significant decrease in advertising revenue; while the current restrictions have also caused a serious drop in circulation.”

The chairman assured staff that the shares “will give you a tangible stake in the success of DMGT, while also ensuring that you are not adversely affected over the long term.”

DMGT publishes the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday and Metro newspapers as well as owns the MailOnline website. The statement was co-signed by its editors.

Read a round-up of the changes affecting the media sector:

  • Reach: announced yesterday it is to furlough a fifth of staff with all employees to take a 10% pay cut. The publisher of the Mirror, Express and Star newspapers has also cut management pay by 20% in a bid to mitigate costs and conserve cash. All of Reach’s regional and national titles are expected to continue operating.
  • Archant: announced on Friday that an estimated 150 regional journalists will be put on furlough this week.
  • Newsquest: on March 24 it was one of the first publishers to announce it has furloughed ten per cent of its staff and implemented a 15% wage cut for those earning more than £18,000.
  • Evening Standard: has suspended its weekly ES supplement and put a number of its staff on furlough. The London paper has reduced its print circulation and started delivering to homes to mitigate the loss of its commuter market.
  • JPIMedia: last week the owner of the Yorkshire Post and Scotsman titles has put ten per cent of its editorial workforce on furlough and cut the salaries of those who continue working by 15 per cent.
  • PA Media: 39 sports journalists and five racing journalists have been put on paid leave under the coronavirus job retention scheme. Twenty-two sports journalists will continue to work for the news agency. The PA wire news operation is not affected. Senior executives at the group have agreed to cut their salaries by 30 per cent.
  • City AM: In the wake of its suspension of print and digital edition, the majority of its staff have been put on furlough.
  • ICNN: the trade body for hyperlocals has said its members will be ‘out of business within weeks’ if financial support is not provided.