Up to 50 jobs to go at Express & Star publisher

The publisher of Britain’s biggest regional newspaper the Express & Star has announced plans to cut up to 50 staff.

The company was unable to confirm how many would be from editorial, but the announcement comes eight months after it announced 90 redundancies across the Express & Star and Shropshire Star titles.

In 2008 around 135 employees left the company after another major round of staff cuts.

The newspapers’ publisher, Midlands News Association (MNA), said it has entered into a formal 30-day consultation with staff with a view to reducing numbers from January.

Managing director Alan Harris said: ‘It is very disappointing that we have had to make this very difficult decision but 2011 has been an extremely challenging trading year and 2012 is not looking any better.’

The parent company of MNA, Claverley Holdings, which also published the Chronicle series of newspapers in Wolverhampton and a series of Shropshire weeklies including the Telford Journal, posted a full-year loss of more than £3.5m in the year to 1 January 2011, according to its latest accounts.

Overall turnover in the group’s newspaper publishing operation, which also includes the Guernsey Press and the Jersey Evening Post, declined from £107m to £104m.

Staffing costs fell from £53m in 2009 to £51m in 2010.

The most recent ABC circulation figures show circulation of the Express & Star dipped 7.4 per cent in the first six months of 2001 to 113,174, while the Shropshire Star fell 8.7 per cent to 55,606

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