Archant to create shared content hub for magazine titles putting five roles at risk of redundancy

Archant is planning to create a shared content hub for its portfolio of consumer magazine titles that will result in five roles being put at risk of redundancy.

Under the proposals, each magazine would be expected to use 15 per cent of shared content from the hub, with editors having a say in what content they use and able to customise it to fit their local area.

Archant produces more than 70 magazine titles, including the monthly Resident and Life luxury lifestyle series, local wedding magazine series Bride as well as titles such as Airgun World and France Magazine.

Press Gazette understands that Archant’s 19 Life magazine titles will be the first to start using the hub, with staff on these titles hit by the redundancies. Consultations with affected staff start on Monday.

One part-time editorial assistant role will be created as part of the project.

The new proposal was announced in a message to staff yesterday, seen by Press Gazette, by group content director for magazines, Vicky Mayer.

She said: “We have been looking at new ways in which our journalists can work closer together across our consumer magazine portfolio, making the most of our staff’s skills and time and creating new opportunities for them to work on joint projects.

“We are therefore proposing that we reshape the way our magazines work, and set up a content hub. Our proposal is to keep local editors on the titles and support them with deputy/assistant editors as appropriate.”

Group editor of the London Resident titles Mark Kebble is expected to take on responsibility for running the new hub, which is expected to be operational by October with shared content appearing in January 2018 issues of the magazines.

The hub will work “virtually” with editorial assistants reporting to Kebble and supporting editors “where needed”.

In June Archant took the decision to “suspend the publishing” of four of its Resident magazines in London.

The regional publisher announced this month that it was planning to sell its local TV service, Mustard TV, after it had failed to produce a profit since launching three years ago.

Last week, Press Gazette reported that Archant’s profits were down 46 per cent year-on-year after what it described as “arguably one of the most difficult starts to the year for almost ten years”.

Comments

6 thoughts on “Archant to create shared content hub for magazine titles putting five roles at risk of redundancy”

  1. The glossy magazines are all they have left to tinker with to save a few quid and where they can offload a few FTEs,everywhere else is on the floor,running on empty or shipping money day by day.
    Most of the fat cats are on cost reduction bonus schemes so anything that can be done to pinch a few quid off the salary costs they’ll do presumably accepting there’s no long term viability in publishing anymore so adopting a grab it while you can mentality

    Oh and the smug one with content in his title won’t be responding ever since he had his wrists slapped for the thinly veiled ‘offers’ he made to the riff raff who had the audacity to answer back in a post last year.

    And Archant Outsider
    There known to be manager heavy so yes It’s certainly time for a shake up of the said fat cats who are draining the company of money whilst producing nothing, as the shareholders are more than aware

  2. Let me attempt to apply some insight into Archant’s current behaviour because applying logic to decisions like making 15% of the content of magazines whose USP and main selling point is their focus on local won’t work because it’s illogical.
    So, why are illogical decisions being forced on the business by Archant’s management? Firstly, some rather tasty bonus payments rest on Archant achieving its current budget. As there is little likelihood of budget being achieved on current revenue run rates then you are left with only one manner to achieve this – cost-cutting. And that means even the profitable strands of the business, which the majority of the Life magazines are, must share the pain as the newspapers (save for a certain Brexit-bashing vanity project) have already been chopped to the point of no return.
    Secondly, ‘achieving’ budget means the narrative that Archant is being “turned around” and is a lean, mean forward-facing media business fit for purpose is maintained, whatever the reality behind the scenes. And that means the execs responsible for this maintain their industry reputations and the business may or may not be attractive to a suitor. (Heaven knows the current majority shareholders would surely welcome a sell-off, given the fact that payment of dividends remains about as distant a memory as the days when Norwich City were lording it over European teams at Carrow Road).
    So expect more of these kind of decisions from the current top floor residents in Rouen Road. Basking in the ‘glory’ of that baffling recent award from the PPA, their smugness and immunity from long term responsibility for the proper stewardship of the business remains unchecked.

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