Haymarket Media Group is to cut 50 jobs and make at least two titles online only in the latest publishing cutbacks to result from the economic crisis.
In September this year the publisher announced it would be closing women’s monthly Eve as a cost-saving exercise, and in an email to staff chairman Michael Heseltine announced today that further cutbacks would have to be made.
Fifty posts are to be made redundant – around three per cent of Haymarket’s 1,600 UK staff – and the comapny will be continuing with a freeze on recruitment and a temporary pay policy for 2009 which includes a pay freeze for very senior staff and limited pay rises elsewhere.
Heseltine said: ‘After a fairly robust first half of the year, the last few months have seen deterioration in trading across our UK businesses. At the same time, we are experiencing increased costs in paper, print, power and postage. As the recently announced results of several publishers and other media firms show, Haymarket is not alone in any of this. Indeed, as a result of years of consistent investment in the UK, internationally and in digital media, we are better placed than more narrowly-based companies to weather storms.
‘While we enjoy an unusual degree of insulation, I am afraid to say that we are not completely immune from the downturn that is so clearly with us and so, in order to safeguard as many titles, jobs and investments in the future of the business as possible, we are taking decisive action.”
Heseltine added that the leaders of the UK business sectors will tell each relevant group the precise action to be taken.
Shortly after this email, chairman and managing director of Haymarket Business Media (HBM) Martin Durham emailed staff on his titles to inform them of a reorganisation of the structure of HBM.
Marketing Direct and Promotions & Incentives will cease as print publications and will be ‘developed as online brands”. The publisher is also considering the closure of Luxury Travel and said it will be consulting with staff and business partners about the title’s future.
Former head of HBM Rufus Olins resigned from the company earlier this month, and management in the department has seen a restructure with three new divisions created.
Stephen Farish will head up Haymarket’s Management Group with titles such as PR Week, and continue to head up Haymarket Professional which includes environment, energy and horticulture sectors.
Jane Macken will head up Brand Media – including Media Week – and will retain her responsibility for the Meetings and Travel group and events, circulation and directories.
Haymarket’s medical division will remain unchanged and will continue to be led by Peter Welland.
Everyone whose basic salary is £75,000 or above (or pro rata) will have their salary frozen for twelve months.
Durham revealed that staff paid below £75,000 will have their pay frozen for six months from their 2009 anniversary date.
After six months, they will receive a 2.5 per cent increase and their annual anniversary review will be reinstated at the next six month anniversary.
The company has also announced that it will not replace any existing company cars or add any further cars to the fleet during 2009.
The publisher will also be vacating its offices in Griffin House, Hammersmith, in February 2009, so HBM staff will be moving to the publisher’s three other offices in the area.
Durham said: ‘Like the Chairman, I feel confident that the changes described in this email will enable HBM to emerge stronger from the present uncertain climate when the recovery comes.”
Alan Kemp, the group development director at Haymarket Media Group, told Press Gazette that they did not know how many journalists would be affected yet.
He said: “Compared with the pain being experienced elswhere in the sector, while we’re pretty well insulated we’re not immune. One of the things that’s charaterised this eposide is that we’ve looked at it in every corner. We’ve look at our supplier base, we’ve look at our accomodation, we’ve looked at terms and conditions, pay and cars. We’ve left vacancies open for a period now and all of that has enabled us to keep the prime objective, which is minimising the effect on people’s jobs. Still having done that, its still miserable for those affected.”