News Column

ITV drama Crozier pay deal criticised by investors

May 15, 2014

Mark Sweney and agencies

ITV has suffered an investor revolt after a quarter of shareholders failed to back chief executive Adam Crozier's pounds 8.4m pay package and new bonus scheme.

Shareholders balked at a deal that will see Crozier's maximum bonus at the broadcaster increased from 180% to 200% of his pounds 900,000 salary, while the maximum payout under his long-term incentive plan will rise from 225% to 350% of salary.

ITV chairman Archie Norman told shareholders at the company's annual general meeting yesterday that this was Crozier's reward for turning the business around, and defended the payout by telling investors that Crozier did not receive "handouts just for turning up at work".

However, only 74% of investors backed ITV's remuneration report with 21.5% of shareholders voting against and a further 4.3% withholding their vote.

The vote came as the home to Coronation Street, Britain's Got Talent and Ant and Dec, left, suffered a slide in viewing figures. The company said its channels had not attracted the audiences it wanted in the first four months of the year, with its share of viewers falling to 21.6% from 23.4% a year ago.

In response to the unflattering figures, Crozier forecast a return of lost viewers and boost to net advertising revenue by 12%-13% in the second quarter.

He said the business had put together a stronger lineup of programmes, including the start of the football World Cup finals in June.

First-quarter advertising revenue rose only 2%, but the company said it achieved a 19% rise in the April advertising spend thanks to a late Easter and promised it would lift advertising revenue by 7% in May, with the World Cup expected to help it to a 12%-15% rise in June.

Photograph: Thames TV/Syco/ITV/PA

For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel

Source: Guardian (UK)