Job fears as 130-year-old Contract Journal shuts

Reed Business Information is to cease publication of its 130-year-old weekly construction magazine Contract Journal and its accompanying website at the end of the month – contributing to plans to cut 13 editorial jobs across the company.

Six editorial job cuts are expected at Contract Journal. RBI also has plans to make four editorial roles redundant in its road transport group, two on its Personnel Today title and a further one from its centralised production team.

Employees across the publishing group were told about the planned cuts and the Contract Journal closure today in an internal memo, seen by Press Gazette, which said decreased advertising revenue had forced the publisher to end distribution of the free weekly magazine.

Closure of Contract Journal is part of a restructuring of the RBI construction group that will also see its equipment title, Plant Managers Journal, relaunched as SED – The Magazine, in the New Year.

The memo stated: “The end of this month will see the closure of Contract Journal and its sister web site

“Like the construction contractors it serves, Contract Journal has been hit severely by an unprecedented market recession which has slashed advertising volumes by more than half.”

The memo said RBI would make “every effort” to redeploy the staff elsewhere in the company.

It added: “The editorial and sales team have reacted superbly to the downturn, producing great content and satisfying the needs of the much smaller advertising base. But despite their efforts, the market is now not large enough to support a large circulation free title.”

RBI confirmed that the last issue of Contract Journal would be published on November 25.

A spokeswoman said: “The Construction Group will continue to organise the SED exhibition and publish Plant Managers Journal – which will be renamed SED – the magazine. The Contract Journal team have been briefed on the closures this morning…

“Also announced today are the proposals to make four editorial roles redundant in the road transport group, two proposals (one editorial and one editorial support) on Personnel Today and a proposed reduction of one member of production staff in central production.

“There are also two sales roles at risk of redundancy in New Scientist and Digital Media. Advertisement operations are proposing to make three roles redundant.”

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