Regional publisher announces plans to axe 450 jobs

Smiths News

The North West’s biggest regional news publisher has announced plans to make 450 job cuts.

Reach, which owns titles and websites across the region such as the Manchester Evening News and Liverpool Echo, said it is looking to cut six per cent of its operating costs.

The company also owns a number of national titles including the Daily Mirror and Daily Express.

Reach also owns titles such as the Birmingham Post and Bristol Post.

The announcement comes just eight months after a similar cost cutting drive which saw job losses across the business.

In a trading update last month the company said views of its websites had fallen as a result of changes in Facebook.

As a result over the nine-month period, year-on-year page views declined by 21 per cent.

In print, circulation revenue grew marginally over the first nine months of the year.

The company said the cost reduction programme is part of its drive to strengthen its position as a leading digital publisher, and mitigate against the backdrop of continuing inflationary pressures that it expects to impact the business over the next 12 months.

As part of the programme Reach proposes to reduce its total workforce by an estimated 450 full time roles.

Reach said the savings will allow the business to deliver on its long term plans, while continuing to invest to drive better customer value, develop online products and grow new audiences.

Chief Executive Jim Mullen said: “Our industry has a history of change and the future will undoubtedly involve yet more. That’s why it’s essential we set ourselves up to win, by making our operations suited to an increasingly fast-paced, competitive and customer-focused digital world.”

“Hard work over the last few years means we have established ourselves as a leading digital publisher. But there’s more to do and today is about organising our business to deliver against that challenge.”

It has also been announced a  long-serving executive with the publisher is to leave the business after working in a variety of regional roles.

Sarah Pullen is stepping down as revenue director of Reach’s regional commercial team after 30 years with the business.

Before taking up her current role in 2020, Sarah worked a regional managing director for the Midlands from 2017-20 and regional managing director for Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset from 2015-17.