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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 August, 2003, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Profits priority kills Welsh Mirror
Welsh Daily Mirror
Killed off after a four-year life - the Welsh Daily Mirror
A demand for bigger profits has led to the "treacherous" axing of the Welsh Mirror, a journalists' union leader has claimed.

New chief executive Sly Bailey has committed the parent group Trinity Mirror to annual cost savings of 25m by 2005, cost savings which could include the loss of 550 jobs across the group.

The Welsh Mirror is a high-profile victim of her strategy, although Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue with their own dedicated editions as does the Republic of Ireland paper.

"My vision for Trinity Mirror is to unlock its hidden potential for growth," said Ms Bailey, a 40-year-old south Londoner who has risen from a shop assistant to chief executive.

However, the growth of the Welsh Mirror has been terminally pruned after only a four-year life, leaving Wales as the only Celtic Mirror victim of the London-based group.

National Union of Journalists deputy general secretary John Fray hit out at the group's financial bias which, he said, was at the expense of people.

He added: "At a time when profits are increasing, jobs are being cut.

"Does that mean that as profits get even higher they should sack more and more people? That seems to be the logic, but it's treacherous.

"This group has done very well on the hard work of our members who have now to worry whether they have a job."

A Trinity Mirror spokeswoman said the group had "nothing to say" in reference to the "treacherous" logic comment.

UK's largest newspaper publisher

Trinity Mirror is the UK's largest newspaper publisher with over 260 titles, including the South Wales Echo and Western Mail and the Daily Post.

In its 2003 interim results issued at the end of July 2003, Trinity Mirror announced an increase of 11.6% in group operating profits, from 95.8m in 2002 to 101.4m in 2003.

Earnings per share increased from 18.4p (2002) to 19.0p (2003).

Sly (real name Sylvia) Bailey has said "the value of the (Trinity Mirror) group as a whole is far greater than the sum of its constituent parts."

Sly Bailey
Trinity Mirror chief executive Sly Bailey whose decision has killed off the Welsh Mirror
A Trinity Mirror spokeswoman said that there were benefits in integrating Welsh news coverage into the core Daily Mirror title and that there would still be specific Welsh content published in slip pages.

She said that the current Welsh Mirror daily circulation was 130,000 and was showing a "slow decline." There are 14 journalists currently employed at the paper.

The Mirror's Northern Ireland edition has a 60,000 daily circulation and the separate edition in the republic is 85,000.

The Scottish Mirror runs at 80,000 daily.




SEE ALSO:
NI bid for newspaper titles
31 Jul 03  |  Northern Ireland
Trinity Mirror 'had buyout talks'
02 Feb 03  |  Business
Trinity Mirror axes 550 jobs
31 Jul 03  |  Business


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