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Newspapers will bounce back says Rothermere

Lord Rothermere today declared that his regional and national newspaper empire will “bounce back” despite a slump in revenues for the first half of its financial year.

Daily Mail and General Trust, which owns the Northcliffe Media regional publishing group, today published results for the period covering October 2008 – March 2009.

They revealed that advertising revenues at Northcliffe were down 31pc in the period, with profits for the UK papers down 91pc to £3.2m from £33m the previous year.

But in a video interview streamed on the company’s website, DMGT chairman Lord Rothermere said the company would emerge from the recession stronger than when it went in.

“The newspapers will bounce back. They are going through a difficult time but that time is cyclical and consistent with the economic situation.

“DMGT is extremely well-positioned to come out of this recession in a stronger position than when we went into it.”

Today’s figures show overall revenues for Northcliffe Media fell 23pc from £216m in the equivalent period in 2007-2008 to £166m in 2008-2009.

Advertising revenues from property were down 54pc, recruitment 47pc, retail 24pc and motors 23pc, while circulation revenues fell 6pc.

The half-yearly report reveals that overall headcount fell by 500 as a result of the widespread cutbacks across Northcliffe announced in the first three months of the year.

This contributed to a 20pc fall in operating costs compared with the same period the previous year.

In his video interview, Lord Rothermere said he had found making the cutbacks “extremely difficult” and admitted he felt like he had let down those affected.

Comments

All Subbed Out (21/05/2009 13:00:11)
Difficult to see how some regional and local titles will ever “bounce back” from the savage cutbacks imposed by DMGT. There just aren’t the staff to provide the service to readers or customers, whether it is in print or online. Balls don’t bounce when they’re completely deflated.

RedundantHack (21/05/2009 14:57:37)
Yes indeed – when some of Northcliffe’s most experienced staff have been cleared out as part of the restructuring and those who are left are just churning out stuff to fill papers subbed miles away, how on earth are they going to ‘bounce back’? Are Northcliffe going to rehire the experienced staff they let go? Are they going to de-centralise and open up regional offices again? Are they going to return their daily papers to multi-edition, multi-deadline publications? What do you think?

gld2boutofit (21/05/2009 17:31:58)
ah, bless, maybe just I misunderstood him. . .

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