Mad.co.uk editorial jobs at risk in multimedia shake-up

Centaur has defended its decision to cut the reporting team at its standalone marketing, advertising and design portal, mad.co.uk.

Seven jobs are under threat across editorial and marketing as the company changes its multimedia strategy.

Previously mad.co.uk was a mix of aggregated content from Centaur’s media magazines, with additional news from a separate reporting team. Now content will solely come from the news teams on Design Week, Marketing Week, New Media Age, Precision Marketing and Creative Review.

Managing director Tim Potter said the launch by Design Week and Marketing Week of their own websites with daily news updates 18 months ago, had eradicated the need for a separate reporting team on mad.co.uk.

He said: ‘It’s about the evolution. I think mad.co.uk has done a great job from a reporting perspective for the past eight years, but it was always going to be limited what we could do with a small, central reporting team.

Clearly in each of the markets we work in, we have much bigger teams and what’s important is that we continue to invest in those and that mad.co.uk’s drawing on the best of that.”

In editorial, three reporters including senior reporter Melinda Varley, are in consulation with management over their jobs. Mad.co.uk editor Branwell Johnson and news editor Arif Durrani have been offered positions on the new look site.

The announcement adds up to 20 job losses at mad.co.uk across various departments in the last year, which started when the role of publisher was scrapped after the exit of Stephen Brooks in June. Since then, mad.co.uk’s display sales and circulation teams have also been merged with teams from Centaur print titles.

The move follows a shake-up in Centaur’s management with the departutre of three publishing directors in February, including Annie Swift, who oversaw the marketing division.

The shake-up at Centaur comes amid management concerns that the company share price is down to 82p from the £1.55 high a year ago, despite continuous revenue and profit growth.

The company has since denied it had begun a strategic review, but confirmed that it was undertaking a ‘valuation’of the business.

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