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English regionals excluded from press inquiry seminar

A seminar at the Leveson Inquiry into press ethics which looked at the economic pressures facing newspapers took place without a single English regional editor present.

Media analyst Claire Enders gave a gloomy presentation on the state of the industry at the seminar, saying the regional press had lost £1.1bn in revenues between 2005 and 2010.

However not a single English regional newspaper editor was invited to hear Ms Enders presentation at which she also claimed the industry had shed 40pc of its workforce.

The guest list included Mike Gilson  of the Belfast Telegraph, Alan Edmunds of the Western Mail, Jonathan Russell of The Herald and John McLellan of The Scotsman, but no editors of English titles were included.

Ms Enders, head of Enders Analysis, published figures stating that revenues for the four biggest regional press groups were down up to 56pc from 2005, while profits also declined by as much as 70pc.

According to Ms Enders, 2010 revenues for each publisher was as follows:

Operating profits for Johnston Press were down 60pc at £72m, Trinity Mirror Regionals down 65.5pc at £52m, and Northcliffe Media down 70.6pc at £30m. Newsquest does not report its operating profits.

By contrast revenues for national newspaper groups proved more robust, with News International seeing a fall of just 2pc, Associated Newspapers 3pc and Guardian News and Media 5pc.

However circulation decline was relatively consistent across both the national regional sector – down 24pc for ‘quality’ national titles and 23pc for regional titles.

Ms Enders became known in the industry as a prophet of doom after saying in 2008 that half of all 1,300 local and regional titles would close by 2013.

However her deputy Douglas McCabe admitted at last year’s Society of Editors’ conference that they had got it wrong.

The inquiry was set up by the Prime Minister to look into the future regulation of the industry in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.  There has been widespread criticism of the lack of regional newspaper representation on the inquiry panel.

Ms Enders’ presentation can be read in full at the Leveson Inquiry website. The guest list for the seminar can be viewed here.




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  • October 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Let’s face it, you might as well ask the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse as ask Enders for an analysis of newspapers.

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  • October 10, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    A nice comparison would also be a local story count against recycled press release as a proportion over the same period.

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  • October 10, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I think the biggest mistake far too many papers make is that they still believe their ‘loyal’ readership actually cares about the product (yes – product) they put out.

    Recycled press releases and depleted newsrooms filled with reporters either untrained or unable to ask the questions that matter.

    When was the last time a journo actually took a senior figure to task, as opposed to simply waiting for the press office to call back?

    That’s what used to sell, not dressed up puff and adverts.

    In my humble opinion…

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