Enders: 40 per cent regional press jobs cut in five years

Media analyst Claire Enders has estimated that 40 per cent of jobs in the UK regional press have gone over the last five years.

Her estimate was made at the opening seminar of the Leveson Inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal last week as she gave a presentation setting the economic scene.

Enders said: ‘There has been a substantial decline in advertising revenue in the regional press. They have been the worst effected by the pressures of the digital age. It has lost 40 per cent of its workforce in the last five years.”

Enders said that this contrasted with a 10 per cent reduction in workforce for the national press over the same period.

She listed the 2010 revenues of the big four regional publishers, and the amount which these have declined over the last five years.

They were as follows:

This compares with equivalent figures for the national press:

  • News International, £1,047m (down 2 per cent)
  • Associated Newspapers, £850m(down 3 per cent)
  • Trinity Mirror nationals, £430m (down 14 per cent)
  • Telegraph Media Group, £324m (no change)
  • Guardian News and Media, £221m (down 5 per cent)
  • Express Newspapers, £214m (down 26 per cent)

The FT Group is the only major newspaper publisher listed by Enders which has increased its revenue over the last five years, growing to £403m in 2010 (up 21 per cent).

According to Enders, £1bn of annual classified advertising revenue has gone from the regional press since 2008.

Enders said that 2005 can been seen as the heyday for UK newspapers in terms of revenue, even though circulation decline dates back much further.

And she said that print circulation decline has accelarated since 2005 as broadband penetration has increased and that it is accelerating even faster now as smartphones become more more popular, and Britons consume yet more digital content.

She noted that despite the huge digital pressure, the press remained an a £8.2bn a year a industry in 2010 – with the national and regional press comprising around £6bn of this figure and magazines the rest.

The consensus of opinion at last week’s seminar appeared to be that increased economic pressures were not to blame for the breakdown in ethics at the News of the World which led the hacking scandal.

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