Four Archant Life titles poised to cease monthly printing

Archant is proposing to suspend the monthly publication of four of its Archant Life magazines in the Midlands following ‘a review of costs’ throughout the lifestyle magazine division.

Press Gazette understands that Archant is considering switching the Shropshire Life, Staffordshire County, Birmingham Life and Herefordshire Life to an annual frequency.

The move follows a review of costs and structure throughout the Archant Life division, which publishes 65 titles.

Archant Life’s North managing director Liz Page has left the company after three years in the post.

Three of the four other regional managing directors have new roles within Archant Life, while Jeremy Moreton keeps his MD role in London.

Page joined Archant Life in 2006 from Newsquest in York – where she was managing director of the publishing centre and was previously editor of the city’s daily paper, The Press.

Archant Life has replaced the old regional managing director structure with two new roles: editorial production director and commercial director.

Suzanne Heaven is the new publishing director, responsible for editors, editorial content, production and sales promotion.

Tim Thurston takes the role of commercial director, responsible for advertisement and digital sales revenue. Anita Newcombe is managing editor in the South West.

Archant has invested heavily in the Archant Life titles and established a presence in every county in the UK, but like the rest of the media it is feeling the effects of the economic downturn on advertising.

In a statement, the publisher said: “Due to the current economic forecast and challenging trading conditions we have been forced to review all roles and structures throughout Archant Life.

“As part of this review we have identified the need to reduce the cost base for Shropshire Life, Staffordshire County, Birmingham Life and Herefordshire Life.

“To achieve this we have proposed reducing their frequency from monthly to annual publication and are currently consulting staff about this.”

Archant Lifestyle managing director Johnny Hustler added: “We are moving away from a regional management structure, with regionally based MDs and adopting a functional management structure with our activities being divided between senior managers responsible for an individual specialism right across the county business.

“Through these changes, I believe we can introduce a greater level of shared best practice across the company, deliver still better quality, more consistent content and establish a more focused approach to growing the advertising market share of our fantastic county magazines.”

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