Page last updated at 14:18 GMT, Monday, 23 March 2009

Daily Mail group cuts 1,000 jobs

Andrew Neil: 'Carnage in the newspaper market'

The Daily Mail and General Trust (DMGT) is to cut 1,000 jobs as the advertising slump continues to hurt newspapers.

The job cuts at its regional arm Northcliffe Media are more than double what it estimated last November, the media company said.

Northcliffe Media publishes 113 papers in England and Wales, selling 4.1 million copies a week.

It said it had a "difficult quarter" so far and expects a "substantial fall" in profits in the first half of 2009.

The "vast majority" of the job cuts have already taken place or are currently under consultation, said a company spokesman.

Northcliffe Media's newspapers include the Leicester Mercury, Hull Daily Mail and the Bristol Evening Post.

Newspapers battered

The company said in its trading update that further costs were being cut in all departments at its newspaper division, which includes the Daily Mail and free newssheet the Metro.

The DMGT said the job cuts would result in exceptional operating costs of about £20m in the group's half year results to 29 March, to be announced in May.

The company said it expected advertising revenue at its newspapers during the three months to March to drop by an underlying 24%, and to fall at Northcliffe Media as a whole by 37%.

Shares in DMGT rose 2% to 238.5 pence.

DMGT sold the London Evening Standard newspaper in January to Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev for the sum of £1.

The recession has hit advertisers and newspapers hard, with local publishers being especially affected.

National impact

Local newspaper group Archant, which owns the Eastern Daily Press and Evening News, said this month it is planning to cut 34 jobs in Norfolk.

REGIONAL NEWS SUFFERS

Norfolk's Archant, which owns the Eastern Daily Press and Evening News, plans to cut 34 jobs
The Daily Record and Sunday Mail in Scotland merged, resulting in the loss of 70 jobs
Glasgow Herald owner Newsquest asks staff to take unpaid leave
Manchester Evening News owner axed 150 jobs and closed eight offices
Reading Evening Post has become bi-weekly as owner GMG Regional Media had an 85% drop in profits
Liverpool Daily Post and Echo sacked 40 journalists and reduced editions
Observer Standard Newspapers enters administration

And up to a quarter of 276 editorial staff at the Glasgow-based Daily Record and Sunday Mail newspapers are to lose their jobs under plans to merge their newsrooms.

Observer Standard Newspapers in Worcestershire, with a staff of 150, went into administration earlier this month.

The government has said that preserving the future of local news was a priority. Culture minister Barbara Follett said the government would "work tirelessly to secure news for local communities".

National newspapers have also been hurt badly, with the Independent cutting back on staff and moving its staff to the Daily Mail's offices in Kensington, west London.

The Financial Times last week told staff that it planned to streamline its editing staff and cut back from three editions per day to two, and the Daily Express and Sunday Express plan to cut staff as well this year.

The phenomenon is not restricted to the UK.

US papers

There is much talk of a crisis in the US newspaper industry as many cities see their households titles in trouble.

The 146-year-old Seattle Post-Intelligencer this month became the first US paper to stop a print edition and go online only, with an editorial team of 20 as compared to 150 previously.

Last month the San Francisco Chronicle said the paper could be sold or closed down if it could not meet cost-cutting targets.

The Tribune Company, which owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun and many other titles, filed for bankruptcy in December.

Newspaper circulation graph



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SEE ALSO
MPs fearing decline of local news
19 Mar 09 |  UK Politics
Newspapers reduce job cuts by 20
16 Mar 09 |  Norfolk
Seattle paper moves online only
16 Mar 09 |  Business
News publisher makes 150 job cuts
10 Mar 09 |  Manchester
Job cuts as Record and Mail merge
23 Feb 09 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
US publisher in bankruptcy move
08 Dec 08 |  Special Reports
Downturn hits newspaper profits
20 Nov 08 |  Business
Slowing economy hits Daily Mail
25 Sep 08 |  Business

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