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September 12, 2018updated 13 Sep 2018 10:51am

Reach to cut 70 jobs across Mirror, Express and Star to ‘remove duplication of effort’ at national titles

By Dorothy Musariri

Reach plans to cut up to 70 jobs at its national titles to “remove duplication of effort” across the Mirror, Express and Star.

The publisher wants to make changes to editorial structures at the three titles to “create synergies” and share more non-exclusive content, after a recent trial on the sports desks.

Reach, then called Trinity Mirror, bought the Daily Express, Daily Star, Sunday Express and Daily Star Sunday titles from Express Newspapers in a £127m deal in February.

The deal included three celebrity magazines – OK!, New! and Star.

Reach also said today that it is proposing to close weekly celebrity magazine Star and is in talks with staff. The potential job losses are separate from any made on the Mirror, Express and Star newspapers.

The publisher revealed in its annual report in July that it expected to make £18m cost savings in total this year, including £2m from “synergy savings” as the Express and Star teams are merged with the Mirror group.

It announced today that up to 70 full-time and part-time staff across its national titles will be made redundant. Staff affected have entered into a consultation process.

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An unknown number of long-term casual editorial roles will also be converted into staff positions.

As part of the changes, an “internal content feed” serving each of titles will provide shared coverage of non-exclusive events of the day and back-of-the-book content like book and film reviews.

The company also plans to introduce more collaborative working between the Daily and Sunday Express and the Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday editorial teams.

A Reach spokesperson said: “Our sports desks have been collaborating very effectively in recent weeks, which give us confidence that our plans to share other content will work well. The crossover readership between the titles is very low.

“The aim is to retain as much resource as possible in areas such as politics, exclusive story-breaking, investigations and columnists, which differentiate each of our titles and give them distinctive character.

“We will be making every effort to achieve as much of the required savings as we can through voluntary means.”

Press Gazette understands that Reach is also proposing to fully integrate its commercial teams – Trinity Mirror Solutions and the Express and Star sales team.

In July Reach posted a pre-tax loss of more than £100m for the first half of 2018 after writing down the value of its regional newspaper business by £150m as a result of “a more challenging than expected outlook”.

Star magazine had a circulation of 94,291 in the first six months of 2018 – down 13 per cent from 107,840.

It had a peak circulation in 2009 of 492,067.

Picture: Yui Mok/PA Wire

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