Category Archives: Regional Press

Olympics failed to provide regional newspaper market with an ad uplift

Johnston Press has said that the Olympics failed to provide the regional newspaper market with an advertising uplift, with revenues down almost 15% in the period including the London 2012 Games.


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Newspaper Society cancels 2009 awards

The awards structure is currently under review…

NS Awards site:

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ABCe Regional Newspaper Sites recent decline in visitors

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NUJ Official: Johnston is the “newspaper equivalent of HBOS…”

Well, not really. Johnston isn’t going to be bailed out by any government.

Johnston Press is the “newspaper equivalent of HBOS and Northern Rock”, according to a union official on the company’s Leeds-based papers, where journalists have voted to go on strike for eight days later this month over compulsory redundancies. MediaGuardian

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Johnston Press speculation over its likelyhood of refinancing growing debt. Position described as “perilous”.

Johnston Press share price falls to 6.2p (down from 420p November 2007), possible breach of banking covenants due to large debt, possible collapse of publishing group:

Sunday Herald:

“The lack of an effective digital strategy, few apparent plans aside from further cost cuts, and concerns over refinancing debt are the main reasons cited for the share-price collapse. However, it was the publication of an interim management statement earlier this month that precipitated the plunge. Reflecting the wider industry trends, classified advertising at the company between August and November had fallen sharply year-on-year. The most noteworthy figure was the 48.4% drop in revenue from property advertising.”


Yesterday, Andrew Walsh, a media analyst with stockbrokers, Teathers, was quoted by Reuters, saying: “Whereas we [recently] saw a covenant [repayment undertaking between Johnston Press and its bank] breach as improbable, in the wake of the IMS, this now looks likely on our revised numbers.”

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UK News Media Job losses running at c.140 per week

DMGT Associated Newspapers is to make 300 roles redundant in the London area, this equates to 6% of the London workforce. This is part of what is believed to be a 15% budget cut:

Trinity Mirror has warned of potential job losses: (Update: pay freeze for 2009, branch offices closed and reported 1200 redundancies so far)–

The publishers of Time Out have announced a cut of 8% of their workforce, 13 jobs:

News Media job losses are running at around 140 per week, detailed in this post by Peter Kirwan of the Press Gazette: (Graph reproduced below)

In a reaction to these figures, Jeremy Dear, General Secretary of the NUJ highlights the hidden impact of media organisations simply choosing not to replace staff:

(Update:) Newsquest North East to close branch offices and make 17 redundant:



Graph of job losses

Graph of job losses

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Is the Regional Press Circling the Plughole to Circulation Death? McCall thinks so…


Guardian Media Group chief executive Carolyn McCall has forcibly stated her opinion that the UK regional press is suffering from a structural decline due to outside market forces and behavioural change. Which is rather obvious, but it’s always good to see the reaction to someone pointing out the elephant in the room…


(Hold the Front Page): She said regional newspapers will need to be “re-engineered completely” with lower costs and fewer staff – and that some titles will “inevitably” need to merge and close.

Ms McCall’s comments, which are certain to provoke lively debate within the industry, came in a speech to Cardiff Business Club, originally reported in yesterday’s Western Mail.

In her speech on Monday night, Ms McCall outlined how online advertising has “decimated” revenues for the UK’s regional press.

She predicted that many well-known regional and local titles, which have often been the cornerstone of their communities for more than a century, will go out of business.

…Ms McCall claimed that the big stock market listed publishers have insisted for years that the changes occurring in local and regional media markets were predominantly cyclical, not structural.

But she said: “This has been wrong for at least ten years and is now universally accepted as such.

“The changes are structural – they are permanent and result from fundamental changes in consumer behaviour, communications and technology. The situation is exacerbated by the current cyclical downturn, but neither the readers nor the revenues are ever coming back, at least not to anything like previous levels…

Full article and rather interesting comments here:

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