Job losses as transport mag runs out of road

Truck: closing after three decades

Staff on Truck magazine have lost their jobs as a result of its unexpected closure this week after nearly 30 years.

The closure has affected three editorial posts including that of acting editor Peter Shakespeare, production editor Stuart Middleton and art editor Tim Noonan – who is also art editor of Truck’s spin-off Truck & Driver.

Reed Business Information, which owns the title, has said it will try to find alternative jobs for those involved and redundancies are believed to be open throughout the road transport group.

The news broke as staff were in the middle of finishing the September issue. They have designed the cover to look like the original 1974 cover, and dedicated nearly 30 pages of the final issue to memories, letters and comments sent in by readers.

Middleton said they were all taken aback by the news as they thought the title was in profit. “We had been asked to come up with ideas for pushing the magazine forward and promoting it.

We were called into an editorial meeting and thought we would be progressing them further when we were told it was closing.

“I feel extremely angry. We got so many letters from readers saying they love the magazine. If you can’t make a go of something that is so admired, then what are you doing?” The title sits in Reed’s road transport group alongside Motor Transport, Truck & Driver and Commercial Motor.

Insiders suggested the launch of Truck & Driver took sales from Truck.

The former takes a more informal approach and sees itself as “the voice of the British trucker”. It is believed to have sold in excess of 27,000 copies, compared to Truck’s circulation of 17,000.

In a statement to staff, however, publishing director Leon Clifford pointed the finger at Commercial Motor – a weekly that tests all commercial vehicles from vans to top-weight trucks. “Since Commercial Motor was re-launched last year, it has enjoyed considerable commercial success,” he said. “Strategically, it makes sense to back one title rather than two magazines that occupy the same market position and offer the same propositions to advertisers and readers.”

Truck was originally launched out of the same stable as Car magazine – now owned by Emap. It has had a colourful past with several owners before being bought by Reed, with Truck & Driver, seven years ago.

Staff are currently in a period of consultation.

By Ruth Addicott

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