Reach, the publisher of The Mirror and Daily Express newspapers says up to 420 employeesare at risk of redundancy as part of a continuing cost-cutting drive.
Reach owns hundreds of regional newspapers such as the Birmingham Mail, Liverpool Echo, and Manchester Evening News and has been fighting rising inflationary costs.
The company has also seen a drop in print advertising as the UK economy falters.
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The move comes just weeks after the publisher announced a £30 million cost-cutting drive.
The cuts follow disappointing print and web advertising sales during last year’s World Cup and holiday season.
The newspaper group, which also owns the Daily Star and a network of regionally focused news websites like Glasgow Live and Hampshire Live, said it is reviewing spending across the board due to higher inflationary costs.
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Reach said 420 affected employees, including 192 journalists, were informed of their potential redundancy on Tuesday.
Resignations, job transfers, and redeployments among this group of workers, according to Reach, would reduce the number of redundancies.
The company, which employs approximately 4,000 permanent staff in the UK and Ireland, stated that 80 journalists have been laid off as a result of previously announced job cuts this year.
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The publisher is also heavily investing in a digital operation in order to enter the US market.
The announcement of new job cuts at Reach was dubbed a “major blow to staff” by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ), as it came just two weeks after the completion of the redundancy process announced in January.
Laura Davison, the NUJ’s national organiser, said: “As the company seeks to make good on its commitment to cut costs by £30m 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.”
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The NUJ is calling on Reach to “mitigate the impacts” of the latest announcement.
A spokesperson for Reach said: “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.”
Reach reported earlier in March that its operating profit in 2022 was £106 million, a 27 percent drop from from the previous year.
Reach has also announced that the first articles written using artificial intelligence have been published on its local news site InYourArea.co.uk, but the company’s CEO has stated that journalists should not be concerned that they will be replaced by machines.
Source: The Guardian
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