The two editors of Morgunblaðið – Harald Jóhannesen and former Central Bank chairman Davíð Oddsson – bring home a combined monthly salary of 6 about million ISK. Individually, Davíð definitely gets the bigger slice of the pie: Harald earns 1.5 million ISK, while Davíð makes 3.8 million.
By contrast, the former editor of Morgunblaðið, Ólafur Stephensen, made 1.4 million per month. He was fired, however, along with 30 full-time employees – some of whom had been there for decades – in order to accommodate Davíð. The move brought harsh criticism, at home and abroad.
Much of the outcry concerned not only the firing of many dedicated employees during an economic crisis in order to afford the fat salary of two new hires in a management position. It also concerned worries that Davíð, as Central Bank chairman during the time leading up to and during the economic collapse, as well as bring a conservative politician for decades, would use his position to attempt to re-write history.
Those worries have in many ways borne fruit: when the Special Investigative Commission (SIC) report on the causes of the bank collapse was published, Morgunblaðið ran the headline, “The Banks Are Responsible” – despite the fact that the SIC report made it a point to spread blame to supervisory offices and the government, and named Davíð more than any other individual.
In related news, Morgunblaðið’s owner – Guðbjörg Matthíasdóttir – is the so-called “tax queen” this year, owing more to the state than any other single individual. She is required to pay 343 million ISK in taxes this year. Guðbjörg herself, like Davíð, has a long history in the Independence Party, at one point running in municipal elections for that party in 2006.