Scotland business

Johnston Press chief executive Ashley Highfield gets £700,000 payout

Newspaper printing press
Image caption The group shed 1,300 staff last year, according to its 2012 accounts

The chief executive of troubled publisher Johnston Press earned more than £700,000 last year.

In his first full year in the job, Ashley Highfield earned a £400,000 salary, with bonuses and pension contributions of £301,000.

Another senior director, Danny Cammiade, earned £825,000.

In its 2012 accounts, the firm reported 1,300 job losses - nearly a quarter of its total staff - as it drove down heavy debts from £351m to £319m.

A pay freeze has been applied throughout the company.

This week, it announced plans to cut costs at The Scotsman, which is expected to include quarter of journalists, removing features and magazines.

Mr Cammiade's earnings included a specially negotiated 125% bonus linked to his role in cost-cutting at the firm.

Since 2005, he has been chief operating officer of the Edinburgh-based owner of The Scotsman and Yorkshire Post newspapers, along with nearly 300 other titles.

He steps down this week, with the bonus deal re-negotiated in the days before his retirement was announced late last year.

A statement in the annual report from the remuneration committee said: "The committee is satisfied that this arrangement was necessary to continue to drive the group's cost performance, improve efficiencies and manage the implementation of a new management structure during the transitional period in 2012 and early in 2013, and merited in recognising Mr Cammiade's key role in delivering these objectives".

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