The new boss of regional publisher Northcliffe Media is to launch a review of its portfolio of 115 local and regional titles which could see some daily titles going weekly.
Steve Auckland took on the managing director’s role with Northcliffe last week in succession to Michael Pelosi who has moved to a group-wide role within A&N Media ahead of his planned retirement at the of this year.
In a newspaper interview published this morning, former Metro boss Mr Auckland said the review will look at both the number of titles and frequency of publishing.
“If you have got stacks of titles and lots of loss-makers and lots publishing six days a week and not making money you have got to look at the portfolio,” he told MediaGuardian.
“I want a step change. It might be harsh but it gives a platform for the future. The key thing is a product portfolio review. We have to look at the number of titles and frequency of publishing.
“The problem is that it is a large portfolio … with simply not enough revenue to sustain that and you just have to look at that.”
Mr Auckland also indicated that he plans to pursue a long-term strategy for the group and has not been brought in to slash costs ahead of a possible sale.
Martin Morgan, chief executive of parent company DMGT, has previously said that it would be “open to worthwhile approaches” concerning consolidation of the regional press industry.
Mr Auckland said: “Martin Morgan said that it could have been a consolidation play but that’s not going on now as no one is in a position to consolidate.
“What [we] have decided is to change the model and see where we get, and I’m going to try to do that. If I can, it’s game on.
“There has been no conversation about ripping costs out to bump up the figures. I’ve not got a brief to carve up and sell on,” he said.
“I think regionals still have a future to play, it is a great brief to have and it’s long-term growth I’m after, not a short-term fix.”