More than one in ten staff at regional press group Archant cut in 2017

Regional press group Archant has revealed to shareholders that it cut 11 per cent of its staff in 2017.

More than 100 jobs have gone across the group to the current total of 1,160 full-time-equivalent staff.

Archant publishes 50 weekly newspapers in the south of England and four East Anglian dailies: the Eastern Daily Press, Ipswich Star, East Anglian Daily Times and the Norwich Evening News. It is also has a number of county magazines and specialist titles.

In November 2016 editorial cutbacks were announced as newsrooms were changed to “content rooms” with journalists publishing directly to the web and newspapers mainly compiled from material already published online.

At the time it was said that 57 jobs were at risk of redundancy – with news editors, sub editors and editors under threat – but 40 new jobs were being created.

In February this year it was revealed that 30 advertising designers were being made redundant as their work as outsourced to India.

Shareholders of the privately-owned group were told in a presentation that the industry environment remains “extremely challenging – especially post Brexit vote” with property advertising particularly hard hit.

Archant predicts that “local newspapers will continue to exist in print form but revenues from advertising will continue to decline”.

It said that its county lifestyle magazines were in a better position.

The company said that in the “battle for time” local newspapers are “outgunned” by what it described as the “Persuasion Technology Lab”.
This appears to be a reference to tech giants such as Google and Facebook which have made such inroads into local press advertising.

Revenue performance for 2017 was said to be better than the market, but below budget.

Print advertising for the full year is expected to be down 16 per cent and circulation revenue down 7 per cent. Digital advertising (excluding classifieds) is said to be up 19 per cent.

Press Gazette asked Archant for a comment in advance of publication and the company has yet to respond.

Comments

1 thought on “More than one in ten staff at regional press group Archant cut in 2017”

  1. And included in those lost staff totals were plenty of people with years of experience, skills and commitment whose work has had to be undertaken by untrained replacements. And does it show!
    I really cannot understand why estate agents still advertise in the local press in an age of Rightmove etc, so Archant is right to be worried. When the EDP loses its enormous Friday property section it really is game over.
    I wonder what the shareholders were told about the future of Prospect House too…

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