A bad day at Reach

Tomorrow's Business

Some bad, if predictable news from Reach today. The Mirror, Express and Daily Star publisher is going to lose 550 staff from across the business – not just hacks, but certainly including hacks.

There’ll be more of this.

To return to my favourite gripe, the statement does the company and the chief executive Jim Mullen a disservice.

It begins: “Reach announces transformation to accelerate customer value strategy.”

Well, it may be doing that, but the main thing Reach is doing today is firing 550 people.

It should start there. On the phone, the likable Jim Mullen was his human self. “It’s a bad day,” was how he began. He wishes there were an alternative to these cuts.

For the life of me, I can’t see why the statement doesn’t just lead off with that before it gets into stuff about transforming the business.

(Companies tend to say, it’s an RNS. To which I say: so what?)

Secondly, nothing in the statement is remotely surprising. Digital products are more popular than print, but they don’t pull in the same advertising revenue, we’re told.

Every hack in every newsroom has been able to see this since about 2005.

So it rather feels like the media industry has spent the last 15 years treading water, just hoping something would crop up so that life could stay the same.

It would be nice to read a statement on strategy from a media group that made journalists think, wow, this lot are brilliant! That’s really smart!

Until then, best of luck to everyone at Reach.

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