Trinity may take Brum Post weekly to plug £6m loss

Trinity Mirror has confirmed that it’s considering switching the daily Birmingham Post to a weekly and turning evening title, the Birmingham Mail, into a morning paper as it faces losses of £6m next year.

The company said further job losses across its Midlands operation were “inevitable” as it reviewed all options for reducing the cost base of the business.

The publisher added that it had launched a consultation with staff, advertisers and union representatives to review its operation in the Midlands to ensure its “future stability and viability”.

Georgina Harvey, managing director of Trinity Mirror Regionals, said a series of difficult choices needed to be made at the company as it struggled against an extraordinarily severe economic situation.

Two specific areas for discussion during the review, Trinity Mirror said, would include the future publishing model of the Post and whether it should remain a daily title or change to a weekly publication.

The second would consider the option of printing the Mail overnight.

The publisher said consultations were currently at an early stage, no decisions had yet been made and the business cases for any possible changes had yet to be developed.

Trinity Mirror today said that predicted losses for 2010, which currently stand at £6m, would have been closer to £10m if it had not already taken action to reduce costs over the previous 12 months.

Last August, the publisher unveiled a drastic overhaul of its Midlands editorial operations, merging the newsrooms of the Post, Mail and weekly titles in Birmingham, that resulted in about 70 job losses and cuts of about £2m.

In addition, the publisher announced plans last month to close nine weekly newspapers across the region, resulting in around 94 jobs being lost, 17 of which were journalists.

Harvey said today: “The economic situation facing these businesses is extraordinary in both its severity and impact.

“I feel strongly that everyone involved in these businesses – staff and advertisers – are fully aware of these challenges and that we can have a genuine and open dialogue about all potential options that can help to return these businesses into profit.

“With this goal in mind we are actively seeking to achieve a timetable of consultation meetings with staff and union representatives.

“We have difficult choices to make but together we will ensure the future viability and survival of our great Midlands businesses.”

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