Emap wields jobs axe in wake of 'hard times'

Keenan: "restructure at all levels."

Staff at Emap Active and Emap Automotive have been warned they could lose their jobs in a radical restructure brought about by market difficulties.

The move is expected to result in at least 60 job losses and the closure of the B2B title AutoTrade, which will be folded into Automotive Management.

Paul Keenan, chief executive of Emap Consumer Media, said the "reorganisation" was the culmination of a two or three-month review. There are around 900 staff at the Peterborough offices in total.

Keenan said he could not confirm the number of job losses until the consultation process was completed in five weeks time, but he said the restructure would affect all levels of the business, including journalists.

"It is about getting the business in the right shape in these harder times," he told Press Gazette. "Every effort is being made to make sure staff understand what is happening and why it is happening."

It is understood staff will be asked to justify their jobs and in some cases, suggest alternative roles.

"What we believe is that the action we are taking now will be the action that is necessary to get the business in the right shape," Keenan added.

Mike Sherrington, the NUJ’s national magazine organiser, said: "I have been aware of problems within the group for some time and the NUJ will be looking closely at the legality of what they are trying to achieve." The cutbacks follow a profit warning by Emap in the summer and the announcement of a 4 per cent fall in total turnover to £547m in the company’s interim results last November.

Emap chief executive Robin Miller admitted the advertising world was in "turmoil" at the time of the announcement and warned then that "the water is going to get choppy" (Press Gazette, November, 2001).

Some journalists fear the job losses could end up being as high as 100.


By Ruth Addicott

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