The Racing Post is planning for redundancies after admitting it can “no longer sustain the workforce it employed before the advent of coronavirus”.
The daily newspaper returned in print last week after a hiatus – the first in its 34-year history – as British horse racing resumed behind closed doors, having been on hold since March.
Most of the editorial team has returned to work, although some employees remain on furlough, and all active staff are back on full pay after a period of temporary salary reductions.
But Racing Post owner Spotlight Sports Group now plans to enter a consultation period with staff “to discuss the implications of the financial challenges facing the company”.
In a statement, SSG said: “Like many other companies, the group is responding to the changed circumstances and loss of revenue resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Changes such as a diminished racing and sporting programme and the economic downturn mean Spotlight Sports Group needs to reorganise to safeguard the future of the business and as many of its employees as possible.
“The group is determined that the quality of its content and products will not be compromised and is looking at every significant non-staff item of expenditure to try to minimise the number of job losses, but the reality is that it can no longer sustain the workforce it employed before the advent of coronavirus.
“Spotlight Sports Group will continue to strive to meet the needs of its customers while also focusing on new opportunities available to it.”
During its print hiatus, a smaller editorial team produced a streamlined digital newspaper, website and app news service focusing on the plans to get racing going again and coverage of the sport in areas where it was able to continue, including the US, France and Hong Kong.
Centurycomm, before it was rebranded as SSG, had 292 total staff and 157 in editorial in 2018, according to the latest available accounts on Companies House. The company reported a turnover of £61.7m in 2018.