3 September 2014

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Regional publisher suspends publication of six monthly titles

A regional publisher has suspended the publication of six of its lifestyle magazines, putting 19 jobs at risk.

Archant Life will stop printing its titles for Shropshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Herefordshire & Wye Valley, Wiltshire and the North East after their June editions.

The move means 16 staff members are at risk of redundancy across the five Midlands titles, including two journalists who job-share an assistant editor role, along with three further roles in the North East. A consultation has started with the affected staff.

The publisher blamed the current economic climate for the decision to suspend print publication but said its websites would continue and it aims to extend the reach of neighbouring titles to provide a service for readers and advertisers.

Miller Hogg, Archant Lifestyle managing director, said: “In the current economic climate and looking at the performance of these titles, we have concluded the best option for us is to suspend publishing in print until the economy picks back up and the local economies in each of the publishing areas can sustain the re-launch of these titles to the quality we desire.

“We will also look to provide a service to readers and advertisers in as many of the areas affected as possible with our other Life magazine titles, such as Cotswold Life.

“This decision has not been taken lightly and we will be consulting with the teams affected to explore ways of creating new roles where viable and minimising job losses.”

Two sales roles and one designer role are at risk from the North East Life magazine ceasing publication.

Joanne Goodwin was appointed as editor of four of the titles last October – Herefordshire and Wye Valley Life, Warwickshire Life, Worcestershire Life and Shropshire Life.

Archant’s title in Herefordshire faced competition from the launch of Absolute Herefordshire last year by a group of former regional press journalists and the Newsquest-owned Hereford Times also produces the Hereford Society magazine.

Archant Life publishes 20 county lifestyle magazines across the UK, along with associated publications and websites.

11 Comments

  1. Sarah Marshall, Herefordshire

    What a Cop out Archant, Absolute Herefordshire has 8 adverts in it.

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  2. Steve E, Herefordshire

    What a shame, Herefordshire and Wye Valley Life is a gorgeous magazine. Never heard or seen the competition so just had a look… Absoloute Hereford ! You cant call that competition !!!

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  3. jaded hack, london

    And so Archant begins its inexorable decline :)

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  4. Fresh Coriander

    Do keep up,Jaded Hack, this “decline” has been going on for some time. Have you not read the stories about sales figures, possible huge tax bills, job losses, editors being suddenly shown the door, and business ventures that bit the dust? And it must be a couple of weeks since the company put out a story telling us how clever they are.

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  5. Sideways

    I’ve always found these magazines to be glossy rubbish – short on real journalism and full of breathless ‘lifestyle articles’ and interviews with C-grade celebs famous years ago. That said, I hope the staff affected can still be redeployed within the company.

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  6. Bluestringer

    Most regionally-published magazines are like that, Sideways.
    They don’t exist for the advancement of journalism. They exist to make an easy dollar for the publisher.
    Soon as the going gets tough, that’s it. They’re ruthlessly closed down. Their passing is seldom mourned – or even noticed – by readers.

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  7. Red Baron

    Always sad to hear of staff losing their jobs, not enough profit for the shareholders I fear.

    Good luck to Absolute I say – keeping it lean and local appears to be a model that works.

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  8. Voice of Reason

    Hey Sideways don’t be so swift to judge. I’m a proper journalist of many years standing. Unfortunately my job has been axed along with many others. My efforts to earn a living as a freelance writer mean that I have to write quite a lot of the “glossy rubbish” you speak of and yes I do frequently interview C-grade celebs who are fully paid up members of Who Was Who. It may not be what I’d choose to do but it puts food on the table.

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  9. Bob C, Hereford

    Thank you Red Barron. Absolsute Herefordshire is sorry to see these titles go. We never saw ourselves as competing with Herefordshire Life but trying to offer something different. We know from our readers’ feedback that this has been well received so we’ll keep doing it.

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  10. Rachel Horner

    Here, here Voice of Reason.

    As a feature writer and the production editor of a monthly glossy, which is a supplement to a weekly paper, we serve both our readers and advertisers with interviews – sometimes of local celebrities and sometimes local people doing something interesting – as well as columns, food reviews, an online book club, business page, competitions, what’s on listings, spotlights on local events, etc

    We cover the softer side of life, meaning our newspaper, on the whole, can stick to hard news. All of editorial decisions are based on reader value, but if it helps local businesses to get a mention then that’s great, too. We need them to survive because without their advertising, we won’t survive.

    We also tell the stories of local life – sorry if Sideways doesn’t think that’s proper journalism, but I beg to differ.

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  11. Santa, Snowdonia

    Having moved to North Wales some years ago, it was all ways nice to receive our copy of Worcester Life. It kept us informed of happenings in the area that we love and will most likely move back to in the future at some time. RIP Worcester Life.

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