Daily Mirror and Express publisher Reach plc is cutting around 450 more jobs, or around 10% of its staff, as it aims to mitigate “inflationary pressures” that it expects to see in 2024.
The news media giant, which also owns the Daily Star, already undertook major cost-cutting at the beginning of this year, cutting around 200 jobs as it aimed to cut spend by 5-6%. However, it now says it will make further cuts “to strengthen its position as a leading digital publisher, and mitigate against the backdrop of continuing inflationary pressures that we expect to impact 2024”. It hopes that this will save another 5-6% of costs.
Reach employed 4,305 people at the end of 2022, though this was before the previous round of job cuts. That included 2,862 journalists. A Reach spokesperson said that both editorial and commercial roles would be affected.
Reach has been among the leaders in the UK in bringing in robots to write articles instead of humans. Mullen revealed after the publisher’s first-quarter earnings that the company was already publishing AI-written articles on local media outlet In Your Area. However, a spokesperson said the job cuts were not related to the rise of AI.
Chief executive Jim Mullen said: “Our industry has a history of change and the future will undoubtedly involve yet more. That’s why it’s essential we set ourselves up to win, by making our operations suited to an increasingly fast-paced, competitive and customer-focused digital world.”
“Hard work over the last few years means we have established ourselves as a leading digital publisher. But there’s more to do and today is about organising our business to deliver against that challenge.”
The business said the savings job the job cuts “will allow the business to deliver on its long term plans, while continuing to invest to drive better customer value, develop online products and grow new audiences”.
The entire newspaper sector has struggled of late, with print operations facing high costs due to rapid inflation in the price of newsprint, while publishers’ digital arms deal with changes to major social media platforms that have led to a deprioritisation of news content.
Reach did not reveal the types of roles affected or the locations.