Pay freeze for Fairfax executives

Fairfax Media boss 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 boss 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 by $376,000 to $1.61 million in the year to June 30, according to the annual report released on Friday.

Although Fairfax's full-year loss shrank to $16.4 million from $2.73 billion in 2012, the board decided not to pay bonuses to senior executives, unless bound by contractual obligations.

The cuts come as the company is to axe another 45 staff in its cost-cutting campaign and after a rebuke from shareholders last year about executive pay. More than 25 per cent of shareholders voted against the 2012 remuneration report.

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

Mr Hywood's bonus for the previous year was $420,000, half of what he was entitled to. 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 for company shares, which they will not be able to trade for two years, to maintain a focus on shareholders' interests.

Fairfax, the owner of The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian Financial Review, has posted three consecutive annual losses as it overhauls its business to combat declining revenues from its traditional newspaper assets.

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