The owner of the Lichfield Mercury has revealed it plans to cut 550 jobs.
Reach PLC outlined the proposals in a trading update today (7th July).
The company revealed the coronavirus crisis had impacted heavily on advertising revenues.
Jim Mullen, chief executive officer of Reach, said:
“Structural change in the media sector has accelerated during the pandemic and this has resulted in increased adoption of our digital products.
“However, due to reduced advertising demand, we have not seen commensurate increases in digital revenue.
“To meet these challenges and to accelerate our customer value strategy, we have completed plans to transform the business and are ready to begin the process of implementation..
“Regrettably, these plans involve a reduction in our workforce and we will ensure all impacted colleagues are treated with fairness and respect throughout the forthcoming consultation process.
“The plans will provide a stable platform for us to accelerate our strategy, based on stronger and deeper customer relationships, increasing our appeal to advertisers – this will ensure the sustainability and profitability of the Reach business, enabling it to deliver to stakeholders over the long-term.”Jim Mullen, Reach PLC
The Lichfield Mercury paused print publication in April after editor Charlotte Hart told readers that the COVID-19 crisis had caused “a dramatic fall in revenue”.
Reach has not confirmed where the 550 jobs – which equate to around 12% of the total workforce – will be lost.
But the trading update said a move to more centralised structures was likely across the business.
“The plans announced today will reshape the Reach business into a streamlined, efficient organisation with more focussed editorial, advertising and central operations.
“Editorial will move to a more centralised structure bringing together national and regional teams across print and digital to significantly increase efficiency and remove duplication while maintaining the strong editorial identity of our news brands.”Reach PLC trading update