Johnston Press warns of staff layoffs as revenue woes continue
The new year will bring staff reductions to Johnston Press group editor-in-chief Jeremy Clifford warned newsroom staff today in a memo.
“I want to be open with you, too, and say that we have had to look at the cost of providing that content with a view to making savings where we can appropriate to the business needs of the company,” Clifford said. “As part of our workings we have looked at every opportunity to find ways of making improvements in the way we work and any efficiencies to minimize any impact on staff.”
“We have identified a number of areas where job reductions will come from and how that may affect different teams directly. Later today a number of announcements will be made about some of those proposals.”
Johnston Press had said in November that it expected its fourth quarter performance to be “in line with expectations” – though those expectations were not good. The publisher of such papers as The Scotsman and The Yorkshire Post said that third quarter revenue had fallen 8.8 percent, with print ad revenue down over 14 percent.
“We have continued to focus on offsetting revenue decline with cost reduction, and have made good progress in controlling production, editorial and advertising costs in line with our strategic initiatives: ‘News room of the future’ and ‘Sales force of the future’,” the company said in November.
Earlier in 2015 the company announced debt refinancing that had reduced its debt from £304m in 2013 to £194m at the end of 2014.