Fairfax chief takes 16% pay cut

Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood has taken a 16 per cent pay cut, with the company freezing the salaries of most of its executives after another challenging year.

Fairfax Media chief executive Greg Hywood has taken a 16 per cent pay cut, with the company freezing the salaries of most of its executives after another challenging year.

Mr Hywood's pay fell $376,000 to $1.61 million in the year to June 30, according to the company's annual report.

Although Fairfax's full-year loss shrunk to $16.4 million from $2.73 billion in 2012, the board decided to pay no bonuses to senior executives, unless there were contractual obligations.

It comes as the company plans to axe another 45 staff as part of its cost-cutting campaign and was rebuked by shareholders last year about executive pay.

More than 25 per cent of shareholders voted against the 2012 remuneration report. A similar result this year would have led to a second strike under the Corporations Act and a spill of the board.

"We hope shareholders will see that the board has not stood idle in the face of dramatic change in media industry," Fairfax director Sandra McPhee said.

Mr Hywood's bonus for the previous year was $420,000, which was half of what he was entitled.

Fairfax chairman Roger Corbett also took a cut, with his fees totalling $414,745, down from $432,730 the previous year.

Mr Hywood and his fellow executives have agreed to sacrifice 10 per cent of their salaries in favour of more company shares, which they will not be able to trade for two years, to ensure a greater focus on shareholders' interests.

Fairfax, the publisher of the Herald, has posted three consecutive annual losses as its overhauls its business to combat declining revenues from its traditional newspaper assets.

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