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Trinity Mirror targets £12m Local World synergy savings as New Day closes

TheNewDay_highTrinity Mirror is targeting up to £12m of ‘synergy savings’ from the integration of the former Local World group into its business, according to a trading update today.

As the publisher confirmed the closure of The New Day newspaper after nine weeks, it said “excellent progress” had been made on bringing together its new enlarged regional portfolio.

Trinity Mirror took control of Local World last November in a £220m deal that saw it buy out the 80pc of shares it did not already own, making it the UK’s largest regional newspaper group.

Since then it has decided not to implement a clause which would have seen the Cambridge News and other neighbouring titles sold on to their original owner, Iliffe News and Media.

Today’s update states:  “Excellent progress has been made on the sharing of best practice across the Group with a number of non system dependent changes having already been implemented.

“In addition to the relocating of all central operations previously located at Local World’s head office in the West End to the Group’s operations at Canary Wharf, we have standardised circulation sales, recruitment telesales, editorial and advertising management structures and have also centralised newsprint procurement.

“We are now into the final stages of planning the systems integration with implementation commencing in the second half of the year. Digital platform integration is being prioritised given the significant opportunities to grow audience, revenue and profits in a growing digital advertising sector.   

“Following the Board’s decision not to sell the former Iliffe titles, we are confident that we will deliver at least £12 million of synergy savings in 2017.”

The update also confirmed tomorrow’s closure of The New Day, with sales reported to have bottomed out around 40,000 a day compared to a target of 200,000.

The company said: “Although The New Day has received many supportive reviews and built a strong following on Facebook, the circulation for the title is below our expectations.

“As a result, we have decided to close the title on 6 May 2016. Whilst disappointing, the launch and subsequent closure have provided new insights into enhancing our newspapers and a number of these opportunities will be considered over time.”

At the time of the paper’s launch in February, editor Alison Phillips confidently declared that people had not “fallen out of love with newspapers,” but that existing titles were not meeting their needs.

Today’s update also revealed an 8.6pc year-on-year revenue declined across the group in for the period January to April.

Print advertising revenues were down 19pc while circulation revenues were down 4.5pc, although digital revenues were up 15.7pc.

The company said: “We continue to see strong growth in digital audience with average monthly page views, excluding galleries, across the publishing sites growing by 22pc to 755 million on a like for like basis.”

Trinity Mirror’s AGM takes place at the Museum of London today.

28 comments

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  • May 5, 2016 at 8:47 am
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    Print ad revenues were down 19pc to what? Digital revenues up 15.7pc to what? With average monthly page views of 755m, the figure here must be stupendous and heralding a bright future for all at the company. Well done, TM.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 8:56 am
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    Grim news from top to tail. Rapacious shareholders must be fed cash and they were never going to stand for anything that endangered the bottom line.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 9:02 am
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    “…advertising revenues were down 19pc while circulation revenues were down 4.5pc, although digital revenues were up 15.7pc”
    So in a nut shell the two prime revenue making ( in theory at least) parts of the Business continue to crash and burn while the ‘ have a look and take what you want it’s free’ part is on the increase
    If that’s not a clear indicator of further carnage to come I don’t know what is

    So new day closes after the puff and bluster of its ‘exciting’ launch being seen as a new dawn for newspapers and after only six weeks, another sorry sign that the future of regional press even ups caked to a national paper isn’t in news paper publishing .

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  • May 5, 2016 at 9:05 am
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    I feel for former colleagues who left TM to join Local World.

    It’s like one of those dreams – you keep running but can’t escape the monster…

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  • May 5, 2016 at 9:10 am
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    Cost savings are being seen in the west and south west of the former Local World empire with savage cuts in features teams. Apparently, they think people will go on paying 75p/90p/£1 or more for their local and regional papers with fewer local and regional features, replaced with centrally-produced pages of bland generic writing desperately dressed up in gaudy colours and designs. Local flower shows and allotment clubs in our local paper? No thanks – let’s read about someone growing something 500 miles away. Features about local health initiatives or support groups in our local paper? Don’t be silly – here’s what’s happening at the other end of our islands under a different health authority. I despair, I really do.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 9:36 am
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    Percentages are all very well, especially if you’re attempting to mask the true disaster in cash terms, behind them.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 10:04 am
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    The New Day reminded me – on a national scale – of what we witnessed down here with the now defunct Western Morning News on Sunday. Something edited well and targeted at the right audience with quality, relevant journalism would have worked. But a mish-mash of garish design, puerile, irrelevant content and a general sense that it had been put together by a team led by the marketing function was doomed to failure. I fear the five-year or so campaign in the regional press to downgrade and dismiss the opinion and influence of journalists now means they have only a very small input or opinion into portfolio development as their views are often seen as old school or out of date. But ‘modern’ is what happened here – wrong product, wrong ideas and wrong execution for the right market if done well.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 10:08 am
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    Of course, the economies will start with a cull of the brain surgeons who run the show ….

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  • May 5, 2016 at 10:29 am
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    New Day is – was – a pretty awful paper, sorry, product.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 10:35 am
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    Ahhh synergy, how many times has that word been thrown around with gay abandon over the past two decades by nameless faces in shiny suits? And has anyone actually seen it work?

    And, is it me, or is there a subtle irony in TM’s AGM taking place……in a museum?

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  • May 5, 2016 at 10:52 am
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    Perspecs gets a mention – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/perspecs-news/id1049805082?mt=8

    The app did not even open in one version it was that poor and untested – “What’s New in Version 1.19
    Fixed a bug that caused issues when exiting the app before an edition downloads. ”

    Other reviews…

    “I really want to love the app but in it’s current form, it has very bad ux. 1. Pressing back button from anywhere in the app is quitting the app, instead of going back to previous screen. 2. When I try to read a full article, that view is not mobile optimized. Most of the time, I’m getting full desktop version of the article’s source website, which is very hard to read on mobile. ”

    “Can’t make it work Nice concept but couldn’t make it work. First screen is days of week with some progress like bars. No idea how to get to news. Nothing is clickable”

    “Great idea poor layout Hard to use, sadly and I really wanted unbiased news.”

    from TM report…

    “This new innovative app has obtained funding for further development from the Google Digital News Initiative Fund.”

    Does anyone monitor the chunks of money chucked at stuff? Unbelievable.

    Are the BBC and their millions really going to embed journos in such organisations … where will the monitoring be?!

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  • May 5, 2016 at 11:11 am
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    Oh dear, if I heard my bosses talking about ‘synergy savings’ I’d start polishing up the old CV and LinkedIn profile. Best of luck to all those in the axeman’s path.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 11:35 am
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    I can’t understand why they have axed it when apparently it got loads of Facebook ‘likes’?

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  • May 5, 2016 at 1:18 pm
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    New Day was truly awful. I was shocked when it first came out at just how bad it was and gave it three months. I was obviously being too generous.

    I’ve read that the editor was distraught at a staff meeting last night. That is worrying. Producing a crock of isht is bad but not realising you’re doing so is worse. What did she expect?

    As for the ad revenues, I await with gleeful anticipation for the JP numbers.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 1:27 pm
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    Harry Blackwood – Don’t expect an early uplift for JP shares from this. They lost 1.40p down to just over 40p on the New Dawn announcement.
    What did Ashley Highfield pay for the ‘i’ – £24million? That’s more than half the farm is worth today.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 1:30 pm
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    No, what’s truly awful is people waiting, with glee, to hear about people losing their jobs.Journalistic solidarity? What’s that?

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  • May 5, 2016 at 1:51 pm
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    Confused and Harry Blackwood: why are you talking about JP shares when the subject here is Trinity Mirror? Excuse me if I’ve missed a subtle connection but us 306-year-olds often mix things up. Fiona Phillips: I don’t see anyone here waiting with glee for news of job losses, just concern for fellow-professionals who are being jettisoned in ever-increasing numbers. And those of us still with jobs are hardly secure in them now. A terrible time all round.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 2:31 pm
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    Why did it have no website? It had 48k Facebook likes yet only sold 30k copies, shows there was an online audience there to be growm

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  • May 5, 2016 at 3:28 pm
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    My old boss said he’d walk round town naked if New Day was still going by Christmas.
    Looks like he was playing it safe!

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  • May 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm
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    Well as I said at launch, ‘it would never take off’ the New Day splutters to a standstill almost immediately. More concerning is the £5 million ad campaign of wasted money. Now the talk is of synergy savings of £12 million and the imminent loss of friends sitting around us. What does the Fox say ‘We have useful insights from the project and, importantly, no regrets in having tried it’.
    No one in the industry needs to earn £2.3 million to know that it was doomed, (no website…Bah). If it was a horse race there would be a stewards inquiry with a subsequent suspension.

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  • May 5, 2016 at 8:54 pm
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    ‘Newspaper execs out of touch with their customers needs and wants shocker’

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  • May 5, 2016 at 10:40 pm
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    I was at a meeting in London where Lord Rothermere launched the Aim Higher campaign for Northcliffe Newspapers. I thought then that this was the end…….It was…

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  • May 6, 2016 at 7:28 am
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    I have switched back to print for my magazines and really hoped this would work. I work on the advertising side of print/digital and in the last 3 years of LW and TM have watched the quality and content fall away. The desire for greater profit via synergy savings will kill some of the products off.

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  • May 6, 2016 at 5:18 pm
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    Synergies are like the Loch Ness monster. There have been many sightings, but few caught!

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  • May 6, 2016 at 11:30 pm
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    Shame about New Day, I thought it was a good paper, finding its feet, yes, and very feature-ish, but the design was clean and modern, photos used well, and very well printed. It needed to stay at 25-40p though to gain readership, as the i paper showed worked well. But TM is into making quick money, so cutbacks are much more ‘effective’ than launches. TM never had the guts or interest to stick with New Day.

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  • May 9, 2016 at 11:44 am
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    What I’ve found fascinating has been the emphasis from TM management at all levels on how important it is to be prepared for endless innovation followed by failure. It’s novel, in my experience, for senior management to make a public virtue of not having a clue what might actually work – they’re just chucking everything at the wall and seeing if it sticks. New Day? Yeah, that might work; let’s give it a shot. No takers? OK, fair enough; let’s learn lessons and move on. That’s the most important thing. No one’s tried cycling down the street shouting the news through a megaphone for a while; get someone from Marketing up here. Anyone know where we can source fifty thousand carrier pigeons? Long live the permanent revolution.

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