Regional news publisher to cut 550 jobs

Reach, the publisher of the Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News,  among other North West titles, is set to make 550 job cuts.

The number equates to some 12% of Reach’s entire workforce and comes after Q2 Group revenue at the listed company declined by 27.5%, impacted by reductions in circulation and advertising compared with the 2019.

The news means that Reach’s editorial department will move to a more centralised structure bringing together national and regional teams across print and digital. The firm said it will also operate from fewer locations and a simpler management structure.

The changes will save the company around £35m a year – with a one-off cost of £20m.

Jim Mullen, chief executive at Reach, said: “Structural change in the media sector has accelerated during the pandemic and this has resulted in increased adoption of our digital products. However, due to reduced advertising demand, we have not seen commensurate increases in digital revenue.

“To meet these challenges and to accelerate our customer value strategy, we have completed plans to transform the business and are ready to begin the process of implementation.

“Regrettably, these plans involve a reduction in our workforce and we will ensure all impacted colleagues are treated with fairness and respect throughout the forthcoming consultation process.

“The plans will provide a stable platform for us to accelerate our strategy, based on stronger and deeper customer relationships, increasing our appeal to advertisers.

“This will ensure the sustainability and profitability of the Reach business, enabling it to deliver to stakeholders over the long-term.”