Outrage at axed Truck as Reed pulls tributes

Cover was changed to give closure less prominence (inset)

Staff on Truck magazine were told to pull nearly 30 pages of tributes to the magazine hours before the final issue was due to go to press, following a sudden intervention by their publisher.

The team were told about the closure of Truck, owned by Reed Business Information, last week – a month before it was due to celebrate its 30th anniversary. They were so taken aback by the support from their readers, they decided to print a number of tributes and comments in the final issue.

Just before it was due to go to press however, Truck’s publishing director, Leon Clifford, cut the pagination.

The reference to the closure on the cover was taken out and the leader was rewritten to give coverage of the closure less prominence. Thirty pages of editorial were also dropped – most of which contained tributes to the magazine. The move is said to have appalled staff on Truck as well as their colleagues on sister titles at Reed.

The changes are understood to have delayed publication and there were fears among some staff that it could even miss its print deadline.

A source close to the magazine said: “It was shattering. The bulk of the material was from past staff, contributors and readers. There was already a feeling that the way in which they closed Truck was pretty mean spirited – a month before it reached its 30th birthday – and instead of having a nice tribute issue, they had to do a new front page and leader just because the company wanted to minimise the announcement.

“I have never known a publisher to say “take these 30 pages out” before. It was very ham-fisted.”

A spokesman for Reed said: “The Truck team did prepare a lot of stuff and through the normal editorial process some of it was discarded while a lot of it remained.”

Truck was published out of Reed’s road transport group which also includes Motor Transport, Truck & Driver and Commercial Motor. Reed said it had decided to axe the title because there was too much overlap with Commercial Motor.

The closure has led to three job losses affecting editor Peter Shakespeare, production editor Stuart Middleton and art editor Tim Noonan.

Reed said all three were offered alternative jobs but Shakespeare and Middleton opted for redundancy.

By Ruth Addicott

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