Channel 4's Alex Mahon, Ian Katz To Get Bonuses In 2024 As Pay Reduced

Channel 4’s Alex Mahon and Ian Katz Set for 2024 Bonuses Despite Pay Cuts

In an exclusive update, Channel 4’s leadership will see a decrease in their bonuses for 2024, coinciding with the dismissal of 250 employees.

Channel 4 has disclosed that the majority of its staff will receive bonuses this year, albeit at about half the amount given in 2023. This includes top executives such as CEO Alex Mahon, content director Ian Katz, and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Allan. Their compensation will be reduced by approximately 30% to 40% compared to the record highs of last year.

The network’s Remuneration Committee recently approved the bonus decision. A spokesperson from Channel 4 explained that the bonuses were based on the network’s annual objectives, mission, and business aims. This decision comes as the broadcaster is undergoing its largest redundancy effort in 15 years.

Despite the ongoing discussions about their separate six-figure loyalty bonuses, which were postponed last year amid a producer backlash, the salaries of Mahon, Katz, and Allan are expected to drop by 30 to 40%.

Mahon and Katz, who are managing the layoff of 250 employees, will see their salaries decrease from last year’s peak to around £900,000 ($1.1M) and £507,000 respectively, similar to their 2020 earnings. Despite the reduction, Mahon’s total compensation might still exceed £1M. Last year, Mahon became the highest-paid CEO in Channel 4’s history with a 25% increase in her salary to £1.5M.

The reduction in executive bonuses and salaries has sparked criticism from producers, especially during a challenging redundancy process that will cut staff numbers by about 16%.

Employees have expressed shock and disappointment at the decision to award any bonuses during this period. Some feel that Channel 4’s leadership is out of touch with the reality of their decisions.

Critics argue that the bonuses for 2023, a less successful year than 2022, are unjustified, especially given the strained relations with producers and the financial difficulties faced by many.

As the layoff program continues, interviews for new department head positions are underway. High-profile departures include E4 head Karl Warner and factual entertainment chief Alf Lawrie, with drama boss Caroline Hollick expected to leave soon.

Channel 4 plans to hold an away day in late April to outline future steps after completing the interviews.

The broadcaster, celebrating its 40th anniversary, has announced its Fast Forward plan, which includes selling its London premises and focusing on digital growth, diversifying new business, and adapting to a digital-first world. Recent commissions include high-profile documentaries and a series on the Serpent serial killer.

CEO Mahon recently attended the Oscars, celebrating wins for Channel 4’s film division.

Channel 4 emphasizes its commitment to financial sustainability and the need to attract and retain talent in a competitive market. The Remuneration Committee has recommended halving the Corporate Variable Pay Scheme for eligible employees, based on the network’s goals and objectives. The upcoming annual report will detail a 30 to 40% reduction in executive remuneration for 2023 compared to 2022.