Newspaper publisher Reach to put over 400 jobs at risk of redundancy

The NUJ revealed that Reach, which owns the Daily Record, Sunday Mail and Lennox Herald,  among other titles, would be cutting 192 editorial rolesDaily Record and Lennox Herald are among the titles owned by Reach plc.

By Bill Heaney

Newspaper and magazine publisher Reach PLC has revealed that over 400 jobs will be at risk of redundancy.

The publisher, which owns titles including the Lennox Herald and Daily Record, and local news sites Edinburgh and Glasgow Live, said it saw costs surge by 40% amid a drop in advertising demand.

On Tuesday, March 7, the firm revealed that underlying pre-tax profits were down by 28% to £103.3 million, while underlying operating profits dropped by 27% to £106.1m.

According to the National Union of Journalists, 420 roles in total will be put at risk, with 192 editorial roles being cut from the workforce.

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

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

“Reach’s focus has switched to launching a US operation, but it remains to be seen what this will deliver in reality and in the meantime more core jobs are being lost. While the cost-of-living crisis is impacting everyone, including Reach staff, it is the leadership that decides the strategy.

“We are a far, far cry from the period when Reach was investing in new local sites and expanding its footprint across the country, claiming to have created a sustainable model for digital-only local journalism.”

Strike action at the publisher involving more than 1,100 journalists in a dispute over pay was set to take place last August, before ultimately being postponed.

“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.”

In February, Dundee-based publisher DC Thomson confirmed that 300 staff would be made redundant and 36 titles would be shut as bosses tried to plug a £10 million funding gap.

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