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Wales’ biggest news publisher threatens further jobs cuts

14 Mar 2023 3 minute read
Copies of the Western Mail

Reach PLC, whose titles in Wales include the Western Mail and Daily Post newspapers, is to axe more than 400 jobs due to rising costs and a downturn in advertising revenue.

The company, which also the Daily Mirror and Express newspapers has announced plans to put 420 jobs in the UK and Ireland at risk of redundancy, including cutting around 190 of its journalists.

Reach, which also owns the Daily Star and regional newspapers across the UK, said it has had to review costs across the entire business after battling inflation and weaker advertising demand.

Earlier this year, the group launched a plan to slash costs by £30 million this year to offset higher costs and a fall of nearly 16% in advertising revenues over 2022.

The publisher, which employs around 4,300 staff across the UK and Ireland, said in January that 200 roles across the business could be cut, including non-editorial teams and some staff members being redeployed to different roles.

It said 80 journalists have been made redundant so far this year.

A Reach spokesman said 420 staff were told on Tuesday that their jobs are at risk, but any resignations, job moves or redeployments within that group would bring down the number of redundancies.

Up to 192 journalists are set to lose their jobs as a result of the plans.

Major blow

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) said the fresh job losses represent a “major blow” to staff across the publisher.

National organiser Laura Davison said: “Plans will come as a major blow to our members hard on the heels of recent redundancies.

“As the company seeks to make good on its commitment to cut costs by £30 million this year it is our members who are yet again feeling the pain.

“Our objective in this process will be to support our members who have been buffeted every which way by the business since the new year.

“They have had enough of words and will be looking for tangible ways the company can mitigate the impacts of this announcement.”

Headwinds

The Reach spokesman said: “As we announced in January, with the current market headwinds we are facing we have had to take decisive action to review costs across the entire business, including print production, energy sourcing, external suppliers, as well as, regrettably, the size of some of our teams.

“This work is ongoing as we review all aspects of our strategic transformation, to ensure we continue to deliver on our customer value strategy and are well placed to benefit once headwinds subside.

“We will continue to work closely with all impacted teams and continue to be committed to delivering a sustainable business and a long-term future for our journalism.”

Reach revealed that its underlying pre-tax profit hit just over £100 million last year, down by 28% compared with 2021.


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
11 months ago

If it reduces the amount of garbage in the Excess so much the better…

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