Top BBC salaries to be questioned

Lord Patten Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Lord Patten announced plans to look at stars' earnings

This round-up of today's main media stories looks at BBC plans for further cuts in executive pay and revelations about its stars' earnings.

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten has said moves will be announced in the next few days to tackle the issue of salaries paid to executives at the corporation. The BBC reports that speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, he said it is "one of the most toxic reasons for the public's lack of sympathy for the BBC". He said pay of top bosses and staff on £150,000 or more would be addressed.

The latest BBC accounts are expected to show that-director-general Mark Thompson's pay packet fell to £675,000, after he scrapped pension top ups for senior executives, says the Daily Telegraph. This is still 48 times higher than the lowest paid member of staff, such as runners and junior film crew, who earn £14,177, according to the NUJ. If Mr Thompson's salary were set at 20 times the lowest paid, he would take home £284,000, nearly £400,000 less than his current salary.

About 20 of the BBC's TV and radio stars are earning salaries of £500,000 or more, reports the Daily Mail. "The startling number, revealed today, is believed to include Graham Norton, Jeremy Paxman, Gary Lineker and Andrew Marr" it says. The figure of 20 will feature in the BBC's annual report next week. The paper says that this will also reveal that, despite a pledge to slash star salaries, the corporation's total 'talent' bill has dropped by only £9m to £212m in a year.

BBC bosses have become increasingly concerned about flagship news programme Newsnight after discovering it can be watched by as few as 166,000 people, says the Mail on Sunday. It says the BBC2 show's overnight ratings have dropped to the lowest level in its 31 year history. The Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB) says the average audience is now around 450,000 - roughly half what it was a decade ago - with some editions struggling to breach the 200,000 mark.

The Guardian reports that JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter novels, has confirmed that she has "terminated" her long association with the literary agent who helped launch her first book about the boy wizard. Rowling had worked with Christopher Little since he found her a publisher for the very first Potter novel, the Philosopher's Stone, in 1996. Her PR spokesperson confirmed she had left Mr Little to be managed by Neil Blair, a lawyer and former partner at Little's agency, adding it was a "painful decision".

Just days after Carolyn Bourne's went viral, listing the defects of her future daughter-in-law, the Daily Mail says the couple at the centre of the storm were forced to deny claims the whole episode was an elaborate PR stunt. The paper says there were rumours that it was all just a publicity exercise to promote the groom's new business venture, Mise-en-Bouche Ltd, which caters for weddings.

The BBC's newspaper review says the papers look ahead to Andrew Dilnot's report into caring for the elderly in England. The Daily Telegraph says David Cameron will "welcome" the report. The paper says the review is going to recommend a cap on how much people should have to pay for care.