UK media has a handful of dominant, well-known players – and some of their execs are rewarded handsomely for their positions in the market.
The most recognized company in the UK media market worldwide is most likely the BBC, but the publicly funded corporation’s execs don’t actually receive the biggest annual salaries compared with their peers.
Our list this year is predominantly made up of white men – there are just two women in the rankings.
Methodology: Our ranking looked at UK companies’ annual reports, taking account of total 2014 compensation, which includes salary, share awards, bonuses, and other incentives. The ranking starts at those who earned £400,000 or more and works upwards. It looks at compensation only, so it does not include proprietors and other execs who hold a lot of their net worth in stock they have accumulated over previous years, and through other assets, investments, or non-exec roles held at other companies.
We realize there is a flaw with looking only at this data: big media companies including Telegraph Media Group, magazine publisher Condé Nast International, Global Radio, business publisher Haymarket, and regional media group Local World only list the remuneration of the unnamed highest-paid director in their Companies House filings, so we didn’t include them.
And of course, many of the biggest UK media brands are owned by international companies – News Corp owns The Sun and The Times, for example – which don’t list UK executive pay in their company filings.
This list is by no means extensive, but does give a good indication as to who some of the best-paid UK-based media execs are in the business. Let us know in the comments if we’ve missed anybody obvious out.
Note: This slideshow was updated as the original version had mistakenly omitted Richard Desmond. Northern & Shell published its 2014 accounts after this post was originally published.
33. Helen Boaden, BBC director of radio
Compensation: £420,000 ($651,909)
Notes: Boaden is responsible for the service that provides all of the BBC’s national radio stations, including BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 4. Her 2014/15 remuneration included a £65,000 pension-related single figure.
32. Dan Brooke, Channel 4 director of marketing and communications
Compensation: £437,000 ($678,158)
Notes: In 2014, Brooke received a 21.7% annual pay increase.
31. Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC
Compensation: £466,000 ($723,019)
Notes: Tony Hall took up the top post at the BBC in 2013. In addition to his base salary of £450,000, he also receives £16,000 in taxable benefits, which includes things such as car allowance and private medical insurance.
30. Jonathan Allan, Channel 4 sales director
- Channel 4
Compensation: £483,000 ($749,398)
Notes: Allan’s total remuneration in 2014 was up 21% on the previous year.
29. Alan Rusbridger, (former) editor of The Guardian.
- REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
Compensation: £492,000 ($763,151)
Notes: Alan Rusbridger stepped down from his role as Guardian editor to become the chair of the newspaper’s sole shareholder and owner The Scott Trust this summer. He had been editing the newspaper since 1995. He was replaced by Katharine Viner, the first ever female editor of The Guardian.
28. Darren Singer, (former) chief financial officer of Guardian Media Group
Compensation: £504,000 ($782,364)
Notes: The UK’s largest radio group Global Radio poached Darren Singer from The Guardian in June this year.
27. David King, Johnston Press chief financial officer
Compensation: £565,000 ($872,809)
Notes: Johnston Press is one of the largest regional newspaper publishers in the UK. It owns newspapers including the Ulster Star, South Yorkshire Times, and the Sunderland Echo.
26. Scott Taunton, UTV chief operating officer
Compensation: £574,618 ($887,353)
Notes: UTV is the Northern Ireland-based broadcaster which oversees the ITV network in the region. It also owns UTV Radio and UK national radio station talkSport.
25. Jay Hunt, Channel 4 chief creative officer
- Channel 4
Compensation: £581,00 ($901,450)
Notes: Jay Hunt is responsible for Channel 4’s scheduling and creative output. She received the maximum bonus payment in 2014 and her total pay was up 17% year-on-year.
24. David Dutton, chairman of DMG Information
Compensation: £625,000 ($971,431)
Notes: Dutton is responsible for Daily Mail and General Trust’s b2b business and is an executive director and member of the risk, investment and finance, and corporate responsibility committee for the parent company.
23. Tim Davie, BBC Worldwide CEO
Compensation: £640,000 ($993,385)
Notes: Davie’s role is funded entirely by the BBC’s commercial operations and is not paid for or subsidized by the Licence Fee. His 2014/15 salary included a performance-related bonus of £201,000.
22. Rob Woodward, STV chief executive
Compensation: £661,000 ($1.02 million)
Notes: The Scottish TV channel’s boss saw his total pay package rise 10% last year, thanks to a £189,000 bonus.
21. Chris Stibbs, group chief executive of The Economist Group
- Economist Group
Compensation: £774,000 ($1.2 million)
Notes: Stibbs received an annual bonus of £338,000 in addition to his £420,000 salary in 2015.
20. John McCann, UTV group chief executive
Compensation: £782,291 ($1.2 million)
Notes: John McCann’s pay was down 3.4% in 2014 compared to the previous year. The company is currently in talks with ITV over the sale of its TV assets.
19. Richard Desmond, Northern & Shell chairman
- Getty Images
Compensation: £795,000 ($1.2 million)
Notes: Northern & Shell is the owner of the Daily Express and Daily Star newspapers, plus OK! Magazine. The company recently sold its television station, Channel 5, to Viacom for £463 million.
18. David Abraham, Channel 4 chief executive
- Getty Images/Ben Pruchnie
Compensation: £855,000 ($1.3 million)
Notes: David Abraham received a maximum bonus payout last year, with his total compensation up 16% on 2013, despite Channel 4’s audience falling to its lowest share since 1984.
17. Andrew Miller, (former) Guardian Media Group CEO
- The Guardian
Compensation: £955,000 ($1.48 million)
Notes: Andrew Miller announced in January he was stepping down as Guardian Media Group CEO. He was replaced by deputy CEO David Pemsel. Miller’s pay in the 2015 financial year was down from the £2.16 million he had received the year earlier.
16. Robin Freestone, (former) Pearson chief financial officer.
Compensation: £1.162 million ($1.8 million)
Notes: Freestone had been at Pearson for 10 years, including eight years as CFO, before departing from the company in August to “explore a range of other interests.” Pearson sold The Financial Times to Nikkei in July, and then went on to sell its stake in The Economist Group in August.
15. Kevin Beatty, chief executive of DMG Media
- Daily Mail General Trust
Compensation: £1.425 million ($2.21 million)
Notes: DMG Media is the Daily Mail and General Trust business responsible for The Daily Mail, Mail Online, Mail on Sunday, urban city freesheet Metro, and discounts site Wowcher.
14. Stephen Daintith, Daily Mail and General Trust finance director
Compensation: £1.427 million ($2.2 million)
Notes: Daintith’s 2014 remuneration package included an annual bonus of £359,000.
13. Ashley Highfield, Johnston Press CEO
Compensation: £1.65 million ($2.54 million)
Notes: Highfeld’s pay was up 179% on 2013 thanks to long term incentives of £645,000 and an annual bonus payment of £483,000.
12. Simon Fox, Trinity Mirror CEO
- Trinity Mirror
Compensation: £1.785 million
Notes: Fox’s total pay packet more than doubled from the $710,000 he received a year earlier. Trinity Mirror publishes The Mirror, The People, and a number of local newspaper titles.
11. John Fallon, Pearson chief executive
- Robert Marquardt/Getty Images
Compensation: £1.895 million ($2.94 million)
Notes: With Pearson selling The Financial Times to Nikkei for £844 million in July, and selling its 50% stake in the Economist Group for £469 million in August, Fallon is now responsible for the remainder of the group, which focuses on education and book publishing.
10. Vijay Vaghela, Trinity Mirror group finance director
- Trinity Mirror
Compensation: £1.961 million ($3.04 million)
Notes: Vijay Vaghela’s to remuneration was up 102% year-on-year.
9. Martin Morgan, Daily Mail and General Trust chief executive
Compensation: £2.02 million ($3.13 million)
Notes: Morgan has been chief executive at The Daily Mail’s owner since 2008. His total remuneration in 2014 was down 31% on the prior year.
8. Lord Rothermere, Daily Mail and General Trust chairman
- Getty Images/Daniel Berehulak
Compensation: £2.4 million ($3.7 million)
Notes: Rothermere has an estimated net worth of more than £730 million ($1.1 billion,) according to The Sunday Times’ Rich List. Rothermere inherited The Daily Mail from his father, and it has been passed down the family from the first Viscount Rothermere who founded the newspaper, which was first published in 1896.
7. Paul Dacre, The Daily Mail editor and DMG Media editor-in-chief
- Getty Images/Dan Kitwood
Compensation: £2.4 million ($3.7 million)
Notes: Dacre has edited The Daily Mail since 1992. His earnings rose nearly 25% in 2014, with his annual salary supplement alone doubling from the usual £500,000 to £1 million.
6. Andrew Griffith, Sky chief financial officer
Compensation: £2.45 million ($3.8 million)
Notes: Griffith joined Sky in 1999 and he became the company’s chief financial officer in 2008. In November last year he was appointed a member of the supervisory board of Sky Deutschland AG.
5. Ian Griffiths, ITV group finance director
Compensation: £2.5 million ($3.9 million)
Notes: Griffiths’ total remuneration for 2014 included a £864,000 bonus and $944,000 in share awards.
4. Tony Chanmugam, BT chief financial officer
Compensation: £3.2 million ($4.95 million)
Notes: Tony Chanmugam received a bonus of £714,000 in 2014, which was half a million less than in 2013, but he did receive a basic salary increase of 5%.
3. Adam Crozier, ITV chief executive
Compensation: £4.4 million ($6.83 million)
Notes: Adam Crozier’s pay package in 2014 was almost halved from his £8.4 million total remuneration in 2013. The drop was mostly attributed to Crozier not being eligible for a joining award, which had contributed £4 million of his pay last year.
2. Gavin Patterson, BT chief executive
Compensation: £4.4 million ($6.8 million.)
Notes: Gavin Patterson was behind BT’s strong push into pay-TV, which has seen it successfully challenge Sky in sports programming with the launch of its BT Sports channels. 2014 marked his first full year in the job, in which he also led BT’s £12.5 billion takeover of mobile carrier EE.
1. Jeremy Darroch, Sky chief executive
Compensation: £4.88 million ($7.57 million)
Notes: Darroch is the highest-paid media boss in the UK. But in 2013, his total remuneration reached a massive £17 million, thanks to long-term incentive plan shares that vested in July that year. This year there were no long-term incentive plan rewards, but Darroch did receive a £1.9 million bonus.