PaidContent:UK: Staff 'bore brunt' of regional press crisis in 2009 with axing of 5,000 jobs
PaidContent:UK editor Robert Andrews has published an analysis of how the big regional publishers suffered in 2009 in what he says became an "annus horribilis" for newspapers.
Andrews has crunched the financial figures for Trinity Mirror, Northcliffe, Newsquest, Johnston Press and Archant and estimates they cut around 5,000 jobs last year, representng a fifth of the workforce.
He writes: "Total annual revenue at just five of the UK’s leading regional newspaper groups fell from £2.05 billion to £1.54 billion through 2009, according to our calculations now that the results are in. That’s £509.7 million wiped off our local publishers during the downturn year.
"How did they respond? By removing an average 15 percent of their costs to protect profitability. The year saw £196.3 million in cuts, from the four out of five publishers which gave details (Newsquest parent Gannett didn’t give a specific number).
"Outsourcing and partnership were the trends du jour. But staff bore the brunt - most groups put a fifth of their workers on the bonfire, about 5,000."
Andrews prediction for this year is: "Publishers continue 2010 still in a cost-cutting mood, with the outlook easing and eager for new income streams. But, having knee-capped their own businesses so hard already, are they fit enough for innovating to find a cure?"
I am a freelance journalist based in the UK and was deputy editor of Press Gazette, the journalists' magazine, from 1993 until 2006. I want to give an independent view on media matters.
You can contact me with stories, ideas and comments by email at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also follow me on Twitter @jonslattery