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Gloucestershire Business News

Newspaper publisher to slash another 450 jobs

The owner of a number of Gloucestershire newspapers is set to slash 450 full-time jobs as part of a cost-cutting drive.

Reach plc - which publishes the Gloucester Citizen, Gloucestershire Echo and Western Daily Press, as well as the Mirror, Daily Express and many regional titles - is making the cutbacks, including an anticipated 320 editorial job losses.

The cuts are thought to be the biggest for a UK news publisher for many years and represents more than one in ten of the workforce.

High mortgage costs and inflation have hit consumer news publishers this year and the UK economy as a whole is broadly flat. The bigger issue is that publisher online ad revenue has declined this year.

Reach said it expected to replicate its 2023 plan to achieve a 5 to 6 per cent reduction in annual operating costs, which "is on track to be delivered", in the next financial year.

It told shareholders the move would strengthen its position as a leading digital publisher and mitigate against the backdrop of continuing inflationary pressures, while driving better customer value.

Jim Mullen, chief executive of Reach, said in a statement: "There's no hiding from the fact that as part of these changes, we're proposing to make an estimated 450 roles across the business redundant and withdraw some vacancies.

"I understand that change, particularly at this scale and after a year that has already brought many challenges for our business and our people, will be unsettling.

"I want to be very clear that these plans are about reducing costs against the backdrop of continuing pressures on the business from the economic environment we're operating in."

The proposed cutbacks are just the latest to have hit journalists are Reach in recent times. In January this year Punchline reported that Reach was set to cut 200 jobs , with more than 100 in editorial roles.

Meanwhile, a long-serving executive with Reach plc is to leave the business after serving in a variety of regional roles, including in Gloucestershire.

Sarah Pullen is stepping down as revenue director of Reach's regional commercial team after 30 years with the business, reports Hold the Front Page.

Before taking up her current role in 2020, Sarah served as regional managing director for the Midlands from 2017-20 and as regional MD for Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Dorset from 2015-17.

Sarah is reportedly leaving to take on a new role at another company.

Sarah will be replaced by Lisa Cameron, another experienced regional executive who is currently commercial managing director for Reach's Wales and West division.

Sarah will continue in her role until Christmas, working alongside Lisa to ensure a smooth handover.

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