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Trinity chief predicts newspaper closures

A senior regional press executive has predicted a “sharp contraction” in the number of newspapers across the UK as a result of the economic downturn.

But Sara Wilde, managing director of Trinity Mirror’s North West and Wales division, said the industry would survive the recession as it adapted to the needs of a changing readership.

Speaking to a cross-party group of Welsh Assembly members, Ms Wilde said she expected a 10-15pc reduction in her own company’s operations.

But she said it would be a “great travesty” if the downturn led to a “the demise of newspapers in a large-scale way.”

Ms Wilde said that across the UK there would be “a sharp contraction in the number of titles and editions” but suggested that would not necessarily happen everywhere.

In terms of her own company’s operations, she added: “I think we might be looking at a 10-15pc contraction in our activity. That may not be about the number of titles that close, it just may be about the raw coverage of those titles, the editions, the distributions of them.

“Our business needs to operate into the future, needs to continue to be strong. It’s going to have to be different – it doesn’t mean it can’t actually be successful.

“It would be a great travesty, not only for our business but also for communities, if beyond the recession we end up with the demise of newspapers in a large scale way.”


Linda Mattacks (23/03/2009 12:02:54)
I’m guessing that the last time the newspaper industry faced a challenge on this scale was the introduction of New Technology, over a generation ago.
Extensive revamps were a feature then and redundancies were a by-product for those unable to retrain and be a part of publishing’s future.
I believe both will happen again, this time because that very ‘new’ technology has enabled ordinary people to get local and global news as it breaks without moving from their desks.
New media also allows them to easily get involved and to comment (as I’m doing now) in real time: So any newspaper wanting to position itself as providing a voice for its community must do the same to survive in the 21st Century.
The downturn in the economy means, as we’ve already seen, an upsurge in redundancies. So people who’ve been employed since completing their education may find themselves out of work for the first time in their lives.
They’ll have to think beyond just responding to the (fewer) jobs that are advertised.
We’ll need to develop a ‘can do’ attitude and ‘let’s help each other’ for everyone to survive and thrive.
We have a blog on redundancy:

J (24/03/2009 09:44:51)
I still think the vast majority of newspapers will survive.