Reach is expanding its content sharing strategy between the Mirror, Express and Star titles, putting another 14 editorial roles at risk.
The publisher told staff yesterday there would be a “small restructure” towards pooling content within departments including the picture desks, photographers and TV listings across the three national titles.
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Press Gazette understands more roles are expected to be affected at the Express and Star than at the Mirror, at least partially because of the number of London-based photographers at each.
Reach, formerly Trinity Mirror, bought the Daily Express, Daily Star, Sunday Express and Daily Star Sunday titles from Express Newspapers in a £127m deal in February last year.
The roles now at risk are in addition to the 70 redundancies announced in September when Reach looked to cut duplication and share more non-exclusive content between its three national daily news titles.
A Reach spokesperson said: “Yesterday we announced a small restructure based on our strategy of content sharing and avoiding duplication, following on from the acquisition of the Northern and Shell titles last year.”
Reach confirmed 14 editorial roles are affected in total, with up to six potentially becoming compulsory redundancies.
The spokesperson said four staff had volunteered for redundancy so far, while a further four could be redeployed elsewhere within the company.
In addition, as part of the restructure, a number of casual roles at the Express and Star will be converted into permanent full-time positions to bring them more into line with those at the Mirror.
Said the spokesperson: “Northern and Shell historically have a number of long term casuals and we plan to convert some of the positions taken by long term casuals into permanent roles, hence providing them with a permanent contract of employment.”
The consultation period for affected staff has yet to formally begin.
Reach’s latest full-year accounts, published earlier this week, show a jump in adjusted revenue of just over £100m to £723.9m in 2018, with an adjusted profit before tax of £141.9m (both figures up by 16 per cent year-on-year) since it bought Express Newspapers.
The publisher also revealed it is on track to deliver at least £20m of annualised synergy savings by 2020. It made £20m in cuts due to “structural cost savings” last year and another £3m in “synergy cost savings” by cutting out duplication between titles.
Matthew Myatt, general secretary of the British Association of Journalists, the recognised union for the Mirror, said: “We are deeply disappointed that in the week when Reach announced [operating] profits of £145.6m for 2018 and Simon Fox says that Reach is in ‘a strong financial position’, we learn that jobs are once again being put at risk of redundancy due to ‘location and systems dependencies’.
“We are in constant talks with management, and we will strenuously fight to protect the rights of those affected, giving advice and support throughout the process.”
Picture: Reuters/Simon Dawson